Citizens of Bengaluru have come together to prove that anything is possible if you have the resolve for it. Thanks to the efforts and contributions of residents of Sarjapur, four trees will not face the axe. Despite apathy from their elected representative, residents have pooled Rs 4 lakh to save four trees and are in the process of translocating them.
Citizens crowdfund to save trees
Four trees that were to be chopped off to make way for road widening on state highway 35 have been saved thanks to green citizens. The government had earmarked 80 trees to be chopped down to widen the road. The residents who kept mum when the project began could not bear to see trees as old as 130 years old felled to the ground all in the name of development and infrastructure.
People power sets an example
In a bid to save at least some of the trees, citizens got together. Even as their elected representative turned them away they went to every government department requesting for their cooperation. "The BESCOM was very helpful. They agreed to clear off the cables near the trees and make way for the translocation. The police did not have much to offer but told us that we could go ahead without a plan. The forest department of the BBMP also helped us by delaying the chopping of trees," said Joy V R, a member of the Sarjapur residents' welfare association
Translocation to save trees
The residents met environmentalist and identified trees that could survive translocation. Three peepal trees and one neem tree was marked for the process. A Chennai-based firm extended a helping hand. "The firm told us that they won't take any money for their services but logistics will have to be taken care of. We calculated the cost and it came up to Rs 1 lakh per tree. The women members of our group were determined to save these trees and we went ahead for crowdfunding. It was amazing to see that within three weeks we had managed to source Rs 4 lakh. Everybody wanted these trees saved," said Joy.
Politician mocked the citizens
Their MLA Shivanna mocked the entire plan. "He treated it like a joke and did not extend any support. He asked us why were could simply not plant saplings elsewhere and let these trees face the axe. But we were determined. Two Gram panchayats were also not supportive but we managed to succeed in getting permission. We were told that as long as we took care of the expenses we could translocate the trees," Joy added.
New lease of life for trees
Thanks to the efforts of the citizens, four trees are in the process of getting a new lease of life. An international school in the locality has graciously accepted to shift the trees inside their premises. Citizens took to the page www.impactguru.com/fundraiser/transplant3trees. IIn the tree day-process trees will be prepared for the translocation first with pruning and Root Bowling, applying for medicine, excavation and moving the tree will happen on the second day and the entire process of transplanting will be completed on the third day.