Bangalore, Oct 30: With over five thousand trees axed and 300 to follow the fate due to the Metro Rail construction, Bangalore may soon lose its title as the 'Garden City'.
While in the past two years as many as 50,000 trees have been axed to make way for developmental activity, 279 trees have been identified in the central Bangalore which need be cut for the 'Namma Metro' construction.
Logs, and tree stumps along the roads has got everyone worried. Bangaloreans along with environmentalists fear that the IT hub may lose the its charm and become more of a concrete jungle.
"It's sad to see so many trees being axed down in the name of development. I fell in love with Bangalore because of its green cover, but in recent times, trees are fast vanishing from its landscape," Praveen Mehta, a native of Punjab who has been settled here for20 years was quoted as saying in a news agency report.
Mehta's plea that the trees which are the famed heritage of the city needs to be protected is not a lone cry.
Taking up the case, Environment Support Group (ESG), a Bangalore-based NGO and part of Hasiru Usiru (Greenery is Life), a conglomeration of community organisations have initiated a campaign to protest the 'illogical destruction' of Bangalore's greenery.
Pointing out that most of the trees which are going to be axed for the Metro rail construction along the Vidhana Soudha and central colleges roads are as old as 150 years and are part of the city's heritage, coordinator of Hasiru Usiru, Vinay Sreenivasa informed that the group will be sending a memorandum to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) asking them to shelve its project in areas where they have to cut down a large number of trees.
"It is sad that in spite of so many protests staged by us in the last few months, the government is yet to do anything to save the city's trees," said Sreenivasa.
Apart from the fact that the trees form a significant part of the city's heritage and identity, the green cover was the reason behind the city's pleasant weather. Now with the undesirable change in the weather, people have one more reason for the people to protest against it.