What do you know about the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act, 1976? I for one did not even know about its existence until I started reading up for an article.
According to section 3 of the Act, The State Government must constitute a‘Tree Authority’, for each urban area and each rural area.
In a suo moto Public Interest Litigation (PIL) taken up by The Karnataka High Court, in August 2014, the court had said that the felling of trees should be considered an exception rather than a rule, and only after the Tree Officer and Tree Authority have fully explored and certified that all alternatives have been considered regarding the feasibility of the felling of trees, should it be done.
This is a rule that seems to be rarely followed in urban Bengaluru.
For instance, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has undertaken a road-widening project from Mehkri Circle to Cantonment, which has led to almost 291 trees being felled.
But at least a few of the trees will now be saved.
A BBMP report on the tree transplantation states that there were 61 trees, which would be chopped, in the initial road-widening process.
Starting Thursday, the Palike is all set to transplant 52 of these trees, according to a report in Bangalore Mirror.
While some are lauding this decision, there is a section of urban conservationists who seem wary about the success of this sort of translocations.
Welcoming the decision, Bengaluru’s “tree doctor,” Vijay Nishanth, who played an active role in saving the trees said in a report to Deccan Chronicle, “All these years trees were massacred. But at least now the government is listening to the views of tree activists and ordinary people. Bengalureans have clearly conveyed to the government that nothing can change their minds on this issue. It’s good to see that along with translocation of the trees; saplings will also be planted,” he said.
Here’s hoping that the BBMP and the citizens of Bengaluru can retain its glory as the Garden City.
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