“What impact can a line have? In a race, it is winning or losing. In a game of cricket, a boundary. At a traffic light, implementing a rule. But sometimes, the line between life and death. These 100 trees were found on the wrong side of a line. A line that said, ’You need to go’. A rule that later said, ’You can’t be relocated, you will have to be felled.’ A line can change a tree’s life too,” he said.
The movement began when a proposed flyover under the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP) in Hyderabad, claimed 15 trees and threatened a 100 more. Citizens led by P. Udaykrishna, took matters in their own hands.
As a result, these trees are being saved on the Kukatpally Housing Board road because citizens put in money into relocating them.
The initial plan to shift about 15-20 smaller trees to a water body inside the Hyderabad Central University or onto a water body near Kukatpally MMTS station or Gopi lake in Lingampally, on Saturday was not granted permission by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), The Hindu reported.
But the monsoons gave the citizens and voluntary agencies a breather to prepare for the ambitious translocation of the remaining trees. Also, objections by the residents of the Malayasian township where the proposed flyover’s ramp is supposed to land and a builder pursuing an adjacent project, gave them time.
Udaykrishna emphasises that translocating a tree is a commitment. The trees are carefully trimmed and the roots prepared. A three-week time period is involved when the tree starts to grow new roots and new shoots. Only then is it carefully relocated.
“We do not follow the scientific methods, as our situations are not always conducive. Most of the time we are left to work on very little resources,” he says.
The green warriors shared an online appeal and messages requesting voluntary organisations to offer to raise about ₹5 lakh for the translocation, according to The Hindu.
“Friends have offered help in cash and kind for the translocation of the Peltophorum trees to Nekrampur Lake. We want to shift them near a water body as the trees are 8-10 years old and will adapt faster near a wetland. We are talking to HCU and local communities as well. We want GHMC on our side and will talk to them about the trimming disposal,” Kalpana Ramesh of ‘Live The Lakes’ told the publication.
Udaykrishna claimed to receive a call from an official working on the road project saying they will have to relocate 115 trees in a day or they will be chopped down. Their requirements consisted of two sets of earth movers and cranes to complete the entire lot in two days.
In a recent post he mentioned that after days of exploring they have finalised a graveyard for the translocation.
“It is one of the most peaceful locations, a beautiful piece of land and will be converted into a green heaven within a year. This will be our biggest single move and at the shortest notice. These trees should be safe at the graveyard. The Sarpanch of Manikonda village has come forward to bear the cost of all equipment at the graveyard and has also promised post-care in association with NGO Dhruvansh,” he said.
The final dates for the relocation have been set from 24th June to 25th June.
Find more information on the project here.