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Protecting trees - Indiranagar

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Environment



Knowing me to be a tree lover, members of the local coomunity keep calling asking to know as to what is to be done when they notice trees being felled in their neighborhood, the latest being the above massacre of 4 full-grown trees (very similar to the one that has been spared - seen at the extreme right of the picture) on the 100 ft road in Indiranagar (just North of the pedestrian over-bridge at the end of the fly-over).

Now, if the process is still under way when you come upon it, what you need to do is detailed in the ESG web-site, which may be accessed here. I have myself followed this a couple of times, and succeeded in limiting the damage considerably.

But, if the damage has already occured, like in the above instance, you could perhaps file a query under the RTI Act, on the lines of the one I am going to be filing pertaining to the instant case, as below, and forward a copy to ESG.

Details requested under the Right to Information Act, 2005 from
The Tree Officer, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, Bangalore 560 001
1) Full name of the Applicant: Muralidhar Rao
2) Address: full postal address
3) Details of the information required: With respect to the 4 fully grown healthy trees, which lined the footpath in front of the Citibank/ Vodafone/ John Players show-rooms on the 100 ft road in Indiranagar (just North of the pedestrian over-bridge at the end of the fly-over), which were felled recently, please furnish the following:

a) Copy of the letter requesting permission for felling the trees,
b) Copy of detailed Inspection Report,
c) Karnataka High Court order dt 02/ 12/ 05 has mandated that the Hasiru Usiru be consulted, whenever possible, before granting permission for felling a tree within Bangalore. Please advise what steps were taken to consult the HU members, and what, if any, was their response.
d) Copy of the Consent letter, issued by you, detailing reasons for granting the consent.

4) Year to which the document pertains: current
5) Details of Application Fee of Rs 10/- (Rupees ten only) remitted: Postal Order enclosed
 
Signature of the applicant
Place:  Bangalore
Ref no: Mu/ Ind/ 01
Date:  18/ 03/ 10

The very fact that it will require the authorities to do some work will perhaps deter them from issuing permissions that easily.

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

murali772's picture

TREE AUTHORITY

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A division Bench of the high court has ordered notice to the chief secretary over a public interest litigation seeking the constitution of a ‘tree authority’ as per the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act, 1976. “At present, there are only tree officers who permit indiscriminate felling of trees. As per the Act, an appellate tree authority should be there to hear appeals concerning tree felling,” Keshava V Chalam, petitioner who heads an NGO, stated in his PIL.

The above report in the TOI may be accessed here.

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

I'ngr 100ft rd - Trees crippled

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Mr Murali,

I noticed the felled trees on 100-ft rd too - this appears to be the handiwork of the commercial buildings adjacent to the trees (seen in picture). I think some of the branches had been coming in way of their premises, & they must have used the excuse to remove all branches !!

Good to know that you've filed an RTI for details about this - await the response.

rs's picture

This is terrible.

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This is terrible - Banglore is really being raped - there is no milder world. I hope some good comes out of the RTI - though it wont restore the trees. What annoys me also is that after they cut the trees they dont do a good job at the end of the day. In many instances the stumps remain - which makes one question why they needed to cut the tree. In other instances - they replant some trees stupidly in the middle of the footpath - and these are not even nice trees.  When they grow they will just impede pedestrian traffic. And in an case the trees have a very small chance of survival - as they cement all around. So what ends up is a dying shrub in the middle of the footpath - but statistically it counts towards a replanted tree - so they can say that for every tree they cut they can say they have planted ten more.

One has to wonder why they - whoever they may be - are so bent on destroying Bangalore. Very few cities in the world have the wonderful tree coverage that Bangalore has - but its fast vanishing.

 

Ramesh

 

Vasanth's picture

Trees are cut without reason

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Many trees are cut without reason. Especially KEB, road digging authorities cut them mercilessly apart from some stupid house owners who cut them without any prior permission from anyone. If a tree is in front of a house, house owner assumes that it is his property.

Same way many roads are widened without reason and trees are cut for this. Our city centre which had such a green cover is eaten away by BBMP all over. Especially once Bharat Lal Meena took over as BBMP chief, road widening has been his mantra and trees are cut mercilessly.

Have any other Big cities such as London where cars were owned by almost all is doing the same way as Bangalore? Never, they control the root cause of it, traffic by congestion charges, heavy parking fees etc by forcing people to take PT.

In Bangalore, people are given the right to do anything they wish. Because of this, no matter whatever effective PT you give, I don't think there are some people who will never come out of the shell of their cars or 2 wheelers and the traffic continues to increase because of the increase in population too with jobs coming up only in Bangalore and more such people.

We have to go the London way, but which government is daring enough to do so to save namma trees, namma environment and namma Bengaluru. Everyone says it is nimma Bengaluru when it comes to these issues, when it comes to earning, it becomes namma Bengaluru.

RKCHARI's picture

Greening of Bengaluru

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Tree cutting appears to be a fait accompli in the name of infrastructure development - whether it is widening of roads or Namma Metro.

But we can still try and make the ambience as green as we want if everyone opted for roof gardens and vertical wall gardens in their homes and in as many public places as possible.

Kindly visit: www.vertical-garden-inspiration.com and www.vertical-garden-solutions.com as well as www.roof-garden.net . Most advanced countries are adopting these methods to ensure continued green ambience.

We suggested to BMRC that we would green the piers with vertical garden walls. The Management says they have no money as this was not part of their original DPR. Should that not be recast in view of tremendous goodwill such a move will bring to BMRC?

Regards

RKC

murali772's picture

how about a boycott?

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@ Vasanth
The reason is clear - better visibility for their show-rooms, signages, bill-boards, etc, like here too. May be the citizens should carry out a campaign for boycott of such shops/ malls/ products.

 

Muralidhar Rao
rakeshonsou's picture

trees can save the city

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trees can save the city from polution, we should save the trees. in the recent days bangalore feels very hot. you can see rest of the info - Karnataka

rs's picture

What is the tree cutting hotline ?

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Hi

I noticed today that three beautiful Gulmohar trees on 18th Cross, Malleswaram have been cut - the only reason is that they have built - somewhat illegally as well - a super speciality hospital - and these trees were obstructing the view.  This is near the 18th Cross bus stand. This is also within spitting distance of Aranya Bhavan but cannot imagine the forest department has given permission to them.

I have a number  - 080-22441977 - which is some tree cutting number I had stored on my phone - but it does not seem to work anymore. Does anyone know what the number is to call in such events ? Its too late, of course, for the trees - they have been hacked to the bottom - but there is hope that their lives were not lost in vain.

I'm almost inclined to encourage people to throw stones at the glass windows of this new `hospital'.

Ramesh

 

srinidhi's picture

trees completely chopped!

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Murali Sir,

The trees on 100ft road are completely chopped to the stump today..thats the end of them!

Dunno when people will understand that trees are not obstructions..but something very necessary for this city and our earth! 

sharadjaiswal's picture

18th cross trees

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Ramesh;

 

I live right next to this new hospital on 18th cross - and I too observed with horror when they cut down the 3 gulmohars. I plan to file a RTI application. Let me know if you are interested too. 

 

Sharad.  

murali772's picture

new tactic

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They must have thought that cutting the trees at one go would trigger protests from the residents. Hence they have started ‘pruning’ first". For the full report in the Bangalore Mirror, click here.

The picture I had posted was after the "pruning". And, that was no pruning; that was massacre! Whatever, seeing that they had built up pedestals around the trees, I thought they will possibly maintain the "pruned" trees at least in future, and I did not pursue my RTI exercise. But, alas, the trees are now gone! So, for whatever it's worth, I am today mailing out the RTI query. Will update on the progress.
 

Muralidhar Rao
sdasgupta's picture

Trees being cut down in Koramangala

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 Lots of trees are being cut down in Koramangala. Some of the residents themselves want these trees to be cut. They are citing excuses like mosquito menace etc. to cut down these old, beautiful trees.Some of them are 30,40 years old and are home to lots of squirrels and birds.Please volunteer ways to save them.

murali772's picture

on to the Commissioner

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With the tree officer remaining silent to my RTI query raised as far back as on 10th April, I have on 29th June filed an appeal with the Commissioner, BBMP. Response awaited.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

satisfactory closure?

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Well, to some extent - check this. And, the rest isalso up to the community.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

time to push for establishment of Tree Authority

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It is not enough for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to plant saplings across the city. It has to form the Tree Authority as required under the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act 1976, said Opposition Leader M K Gunashekar.

Speaking to presspersons on the occasion of World Environment Day here on Tuesday, he said as per the Act, the Tree Authority should be formed under the Mayor's chairmanship. The authority is mandated to ensure the saplings are maintained, take a call on felling [sick] trees, take up tree census and meet once in three months to chalk out programmes for the preservation of trees. “It is a serious lapse on the part of the BBMP to have not formed the authority,” he charged.

According to BBMP's records, more than 6,186 trees have been felled since 2008-09 for infrastructure works, including road widening and Namma Metro construction. “In the absence of the Tree Authority, who gave the permission to fell these trees? There is no information on whether the saplings planted in the previous two years have survived. This indicates the lack of accountability in the BBMP,” he added. The BBMP had also failed to pressure the government on a policy decision with regard to the widening of 216 roads in the city.


For the full report in The Hindu, click here

Finally, a politician is making the right kind of noises on this score. May his tribe increase. And, perhaps, it's time the Civil Society came together to give a collective push to the idea of setting up the Tree Authority, if necessary through a contempt of court petition.

Muralidhar Rao

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