BENGALURU: In the next few months, the bamboo grove inside the city’s famous Cubbon Park will be completely wiped out. Reason: The Department of Horticulture has auctioned and entrusted to a private firm the job of cutting down the old bamboo trees, and the process has already begun. Visitors will have to wait for a long time to see the grove in all its glory as the authorities have decided to plant new bamboo saplings only after a few months. The plants will take at least 10 years to grow tall.
One of the few remaining lung spaces in Bengaluru, Cubbon Park measures around 300 acres, and houses close to 100 species of trees, including bamboo. There are 144 clusters of bamboo spreading from one side of Cubbon Park to the other. Each cluster, which has 40 to 60 bamboos, was planted 60 years ago.
According to Mahantesh Murgod, Deputy Director (Cubbon Park), Department of Horticulture, the life span of bamboo is about 50 years. The bamboos in Cubbon Park are more than 50 years old and so have to be chopped. “Once we clear it, we will plant new bamboo saplings. This time we have got 400 saplings of 12 varieties,’’ he said.
Unlike normal trees, clearing bamboo is time consuming. They are cut manually and not using machines. The thorns on the trees have to be cleared before loading. A Kolar-based agency has won the auction and has deputed 20 workers to clear the thicket. Each day, the workers hack away at the trees from come at 8 am to 6 pm. The workers said that it will take five to six months to clear the area. They have so far transported five to six loads of bamboo. The cut bamboos are sent to Mulbagal in Kolar where they are used for various purposes. Kolar is known for growing tomatoes supplied across the country, including Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
“These bamboo are cut and used on the top of the trucks carrying tomatoes. Normally, these trucks take four to five days to reach north India. By adopting this method, tomatoes, which would otherwise perish, will be in a good condition till that time,’’ one of the workers told The New Indian Express. The bamboo from Cubbon Park will also be used to make furniture, ladders, and baskets, besides being utilised in the sericulture industry and other sectors.
According to official sources from the Horticulture Department, the new set of bamboo saplings will be planted only after all the old trees are cleared. “We have to level the soil and then plant the saplings. These saplings need at least 10 years to grow 15 to 20 feet, which is the average height of bamboo. Till then, visitors will have to wait,’’ sources said.In 2012, a miscreant, who wanted to burn garbage, started a fire in the park which affected several fully-mature bamboo trees.
Bamboos at Lalbagh
Horticulture Department is also planning to plant a variety of bamboo saplings at Lalbagh. At present, there are bamboo trees which are 20 feet tall and have been there for the last 25 years. However, now they are planning to grow bamboo at various locations inside Lalbagh, said Deputy Director (Lalbagh) Candrashekar.