BENGALURU: When around 200 trees were axed near Srirangapatna for the Bengaluru-Mysuru Corridor project nearly two years ago, a group of eight Mysureans, worried at the rapid loss of tree cover, came together to act: through mapping of trees, activism and protests.
They were inspired by urban conservationists in Bengaluru where a tree census -- Project Vruksha Foundation -- was started to ensure that officials be made aware of damage they would cause to the environment by felling trees. Also, through enumeration of trees, people will also be aware of the extent of tree cover and the need to protect them.
“We were worried as trees were being felled for the Bengaluru-Mysuru Corridor and decided to go the Bengaluru way in saving trees. We want Mysuru to have that pristine environment, so we started a tree census,” Thejaswi B, an environmental engineer volunteering for the project in Mysuru, told TNSE.
As a start, the volunteers started mapping trees in Kuvempu Nagar in Mysuru, and so far, they have enumerated 3,000 trees till Covid put the brakes on it. But this Environment Day, the mapping of trees will resume in the ward and the members hope to replicate the project in all the 46 wards of Mysuru city.“The project also got the attention of the Mysuru royals and scion Yaduveer Wadiyar will preside over the function on June 5,” Thejaswi said, adding that the project once completed will show the exact green cover in the ward.
Vijay Nishanth, member of Project Vruksha Foundation, said Bengaluru displayed a great sense of activism against the steel bridge project due to which the then Siddaramaiah government dropped it.
“After this, the tree census was begun by volunteers. Under Project Vruksha, we mapped 40,000 trees in Bengaluru. But the census took a hit during Covid. It is good to see citizens coming from other places are showing interest in knowing the tree cover in their areas,” Nishanth said.The members said because of such activism, a system has now been put in place where before felling trees, the proposal should be placed before a committee.