100 Trees saved from axe, get fresh lease of life in Bengaluru

By Meera Bhardwaj| Express News Service | Published: 25th May 2018 02:45 AM
A tree being translocated to the Sri Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospital premises

BENGALURU: In a unique private-public-community initiative, 100 trees have been successfully translocated paving the way for sustainable infrastructure projects in the future in cities that have been losing its precious green cover. With the Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield Metro project involving felling of thousands of trees, citizens came forward along with BMRCL and Sri Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospital to implement a tree transplantation project in a span of four months. Of the 250 trees on the BMRCL’s felling list on Hope Farm Road, 115 trees were marked for translocation.

If BMRCL provided manpower and machinery for the project, Sri Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospital authorities opened up their grounds for the transplanted trees. Most of the species — be it Indian Tulip tree or Pongamia — were pruned, moistened and treated with fungicides. Apart from this, the trees’ massive root ball was kept intact, moistened and covered in gunny bags. They were then lifted carefully by backhoes and transported to a distance of 150-250 metres inside the hospital complex for replantation.  With similar soil conditions prevailing in the translocated area, the trees have started regenerating, environmentalists say.

Tree Committee members — Vijay Nishanth and Akshay Heblikar — as also local volunteers, including Ram and of course, the hospital authorities, took up the initiative to plan and carry out such a massive transplantation work amid the ongoing fast expansion of Metro rail across the city.  On a stretch of 4-5 km along Hope Farm Road, 115 tree species were selected that included Behandi, Pongamia, Badami, Ficus, Singapore Cherry, etc. These species were healthy and ranging from a height of 12 to 16 ft. 

It was Ram, an IBM employee, who first informed the tree committee members on the need to save the trees. With BMRCL agreeing to provide material, machines and labour for the translocation project, the tree committee members said it was a win-win situation as the hospital authorities opened up their huge ground to accommodate the transplanted trees. The project was carried out without hiring any company or expert help and was completed within four months overcoming all hurdles.

As part of World Environment Day celebrations, on Saturday (May 26) at 2.30 pm on the hospital premises, a unique ceremony of watering these 100 special trees will be held in the presence of BMRCL officials, the Sri Satya Sai Super Specialty Hospital authorities and citizens.

Tags : Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield Metro project BMRCL

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