BENGALURU: A medical practitioner has been booked by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangara Palike (BBMP) Forest Cell for an attempt to murder of a tree outside his house. He had an axe to grind: the tree marred the view of his building and the leaves littered his place.
The Cell filed a case against Dr Narendra, a resident of RR Nagar, Shanthi Marg, BEML Layout, for trying to kill a 20-year-old tree by injecting poison into it after drilling 42 holes, measuring up to four inches each, in the tree trunk.
The tree is now in a critical condition and is being treated in the ‘critical care unit’ by the Cell officials and tree experts.
“The man has been poisoning the tree since the last few days and it is evident from the wounds on the trunk. The alert locals suspecting something foul informed the Cell and a case under the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976, was filed against Dr Narendra. He hired a labourer to inject the tree so that he is not accused. Dr Narendra has been asked to present himself before the BBMP Forest Cell, but he has been absconding. If he does not respond, then the police will act,” said a BBMP Forest Cell official.
Rajkumar JG, Member of Panchashila Block Residents Welfare Association, who also informed the Cell, said the doctor wanted to ensure that his corner site on which his commercial and resident building stood was not marred by the tree.
According to the Cell officials, he has killed five trees in the past in a similar manner. When questioned earlier, he told them that the tree was causing him breathing trouble and the leaves falling on his premises were littering it.
But the Cell officials said the tree, Terminalia Arjuna, does not cause any health problems.
BBMP Deputy Conservator of Forests M K Cholaraju told TNIE: “The case has been registered and as per the act it is up to the DCF to decide the penalty. A penalty of anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000 would be imposed on the accused.”
Vijay Nishant, Founder of Project Vruksha, who is treating the tree, said: “As assumed, mercury was not injected into the tree. If that was the case, the tree would have died in just a few hours. The tree has been injected with acid found in laboratories. So immediately all the poison from the tree was cleared. Orange oil has been laced around the tree, new soil has been put and thereafter plaster of Paris was put to cover the holes. After 15 days root formulation will be done. The acid had gone up to the canopy as the leaves had started to shed.”
15 cases so far this year
According to BBMP officials and activists, this is not the first time a tree has been poisoned. The Cell has received over 15 cases so far this year. Also 42 holes is the highest. So far the largest was 15 holes in a raintree in Kammanahalli.