When residents of a Bengaluru neighbourhood realised that the beloved trees in their vicinity were in danger of being axed for the purpose of road-widening, they decided to not merely save them but undertake their translocation to safer locations around the city.
The Sarjapur Resident Welfare Association (SRWA) has raised close to ₹3 lakh through an online campaign, and successfully translocated four trees from the neighbourhood.
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
Raicy Mathew, the environment secretary of Sarjapur RWA and one of the driving forces behind the initiative, spoke to New Indian Express about how the residents came to a consensus on saving the trees. “There was a huge tree near Sarjapur police station which attracted beautiful birds,” he said. “One fine day, I saw the branches of the tree being chopped by half. It was being done for road widening. I saw many trees adjacent to the police station being axed. I brought the issue to the RWA’s notice. This is when many like-minded people came together and research started.”
The three peepal trees and the one neem tree were moved with the help of Jeyam Landscape, a Chennai-based landscape and gardening consulting enterprise. The residents also found ideal homes for these trees before the translocation was initiated; a school has taken the responsibility of three of the trees while the fourth has been adopted by a local association.
In order to translocate the trees successfully, the company worked to ensure that the roots would withstand and survive the change of location. Trenches were dug around the trees, and the roots were cut precisely to start the process of root-bowling. The roots were medicated and wrapped with gunny bags which are biodegradable and need not be removed before replanting.
With help from local authorities such as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the forest department, the initiative has been accomplished successfully. SRWA has previously undertaken a number of projects, including the restoration of local lakes and aiding victims of natural calamities like the Chennai floods.
The campaign continues to accept donations. Contribute here.