Bengaluru, once known as the “Garden City”, is rapidly losing its green cover. While authorities are shrugging their responsibilities off, it is up to the citizen to raise awareness about the issue. One such incident came to light last week.
24 trees were cut down for better visibility of a particular billboard near Sarjapur flyover. It was Sobha Limited who put up the bill board. A responsible citizen, Naveen Krishnappa, saw chopped trees on the divider. “I knew about other instances when trees were cut to make billboards more visible especially in this area,” Naveen told The Logical Indian.
Last year, 17 trees were poisoned with acid and 13 trees were pruned to make way for a clear view of an iPhone hoarding near Marathalli. It was found that the billboard was put up illegally. The billboards were pulled down but the trees could not be revived.
Naveen says, “I felt disappointed with the way the environment was being hurt and decided to raise my voice against the rampant cutting.” He made his own posters and did a peaceful protest against the cutting of trees.
Vijay Nishanth, an environmentalist and tree doctor, says that the particular area is infamous for such incidents. “We have spoken to the authorities who give permission to erect billboards. We told them to suggest places for the hoardings that would not be in the same line as trees. I feel very sad to see that they are being chopped like this at night when nobody is paying attention.”
He says that an FIR was filed. Many citizens also came forward to help with the protest. The trees that were cut could be revived with proper fungicide. Many citizens including children came together to revive the trees.
The billboard was taken down after the outrage. Vijay said at the Lokayukta, he will demand exemplary punishment for the builder to discourage other companies from committing such acts. Reacting to the criticism, Sobha Limited said that they are not responsible for the incident.
Hi, the cutting down of trees has been highly unfortunate. We, being a responsible corporate entity, condemn this. We do not know at this juncture who has cut these trees. SOBHA is not connected with this at all. We are looking into the issue closely & will act suitably.
— SOBHA Limited (@SobhaLtd) May 14, 2018
Vijay, along with some people organised a protest on May 19.
The Logical Indian take
Bengaluru, which is now turning into a concrete jungle, was once called the “Garden City” of India. Sprawling lakes and beautiful canopies adorned the city. Rapid urbanisation has led to the decrease of green cover to the extent that only 14,78,500 trees are left, according to an IISc study.
If trees are cut to make advertisement visible, we won’t have any pure air left to breathe. Authorities should make sure that corporate activities are not carried out at the expense of the environment.