HYDERABAD: Over 200 trees that were to be chopped to pave way for road-widening near Gandipet-Shankarpally have been adopted by Hyderabadis following an appeal on Twitter.
VATA Foundation, which says it seeks to slow down deforestation by changing consumer behaviour, put up an appeal with photographs of the Gandipet stretch encouraging people to adopt the trees. There was a flood of responses from citizens residing within a 10-km radius of Gandipet.
"Citizens have agreed to adopt all the 244 fully-grown trees at their own expense. These trees were to be felled under a proposed road-widening project that converts a two-lane road to an eight-lane road, at Gandipet, towards Shankarpally," said Uday Kiran, founder and trustee of Vata Foundation.
The road stretch extending up to 2.5 km, is lined on either side, with 244 trees. Each tree has a girth of over 30 cm. Species such as banyan, peltophorum, neem, and millingtonia will be translocated to locations within a radius of 10 km. "All the 244 trees have got new homes now. They will be shifted soon after the road widening project by roads and buildings department begins," Uday said.
"I would like to take some trees since I am based in Mokilla, Shankarpally," said Chandra, an entrepreneur replying to Vata Foundation's post. "The government is not encouraging translocation because they get money from selling the trees for wood. So, it is citizens who are helping us translocate," Uday said.
"We provide technical support for translocation. After MAUD Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar evinced some interest, the State government is willing to provide equipment for uprooting all the 244 trees for translocation," he added.
"Citizens, who are adopting the trees are all residents of the Gandipet-Shankarpally neighbourhood. The translocation of the tree is at their own expense. We provide the technical support needed for translocating the tree such as handline, digging and ground preparation," Uday elaborates.