Breathing New Life Into Old Trees

peepal-tree2How many people would pay from their own pockets to restore life into old trees? Perhaps not many. That is why it is inspiring to hear about Dr Ramana Rao, who paid nearly Rs one lakh of his own to relocate two ancient peepal trees that were felled in Bangalore to make way for new roads.

Catching sight of the two giant trees – one 225 years and the other 240 years old, lying at the side of a highway, Dr Rao decided he could not let them die. With the help of 40 people and two 50-tonne trailer trucks, he managed to transport the trees to T Begur village, where they have been planted and given a new life.

Dr Rao wishes he could find sponsors for many more such rescue efforts, as more and more trees are being subject to the axe. Infrastructure projects in Bangalore have recently evoked the ire of citizens in their injudicious and widespread tree-felling. The latest victim to this mass tree-cutting drive has been the pristine locale of Lalbagh – a 250-year old botanical garden that has been the pride of Bangalore since the days of Hyder Ali.

A portion of this beautiful garden has been earmarked to make way for the Bangalore Metro rail project, which will lead to the felling of nearly 300 old and lovingly preserved trees. Dr Rao wishes the City authorities would take an interest in conserving trees, especially those of great significance like the ones in Lalbagh.

“These trees have seen and weathered so many storms. It would be tragic to uproot them merely for the sake of new infrastructure,” he said.

Citizen protests have fallen on deaf ears as the government refuses to consider alternatives. Read more about the citizen efforts and how you can participate at Hasiru Usiru. There is also a rally on Saturday, May 9th, at 8.00 am on Nanda Road in a final bid to save these trees. Bangalore readers, do try and be there to lend your support to the campaign.

Deccan Herald carries the remarkable story of Dr Rao’s efforts in this article.
Image Courtesy: Flickr

Link Courtesy: Faiq Gazdhar. Thanks!

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