Advertising products on billboards that line busy roads, is an excellent way for companies to grab eyeballs. Although these advertisements are rarely more than a distraction, some of them do get a second glance. However, is the attention really worth it if several trees need to be sacrificed for mere visibility?
Bengaluru recently made news when 24 trees were cut down for the better visibility of a billboard near the Sarjapur flyover. Deccan Herald reported that a software engineer, upon seeing the chopped trees, immediately informed citizen groups on social media.
Things snowballed quickly, and soon enough, the troublesome hoarding was brought down. Vijay Nishanth, a conservationist and tree doctor, said, “After the cases were taken to the Lokayukta (anti-corruption organisation), it was decided that the hoarding would be brought down, the hoarding owner would be penalised, and his licence would be cancelled.”
That was one wrongdoing acted upon. However, the hoarding still cost Bengaluru 25 trees.
Stepping up to undo the mess caused due to one hoarding, Naveen Krishnappa, a concerned citizen, immediately rose to action. “I knew about other instances when trees were cut to make billboards more visible, especially in this area,” he told The Logical Indian.
Naveen put up posters and organised a peaceful protest against the chopping of trees for corporate profit. Many citizens, including Vijay, joined the good cause—Vijay even volunteered to revive the trees.
Explaining that chopped trees can also be cured like we cure a cut, Vijay said, “If they [trees] are cut or trimmed, the wounds are easier to treat. I treat them with fungicide. In the case of acid being poured on trees, the burnt part has to be scraped off.”
Concerned citizens were quick to join Vijay in his endeavour. They applied fungicide on the chopped branches and started monitoring the progress.
A report in the Bangalore Mirror even quoted a resident who said that the chopped trees have recovered and are showing signs of revival. The residents are also planning to form groups to monitor the green cover in their areas and prevent similar incidents in the future.
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The concern and enthusiasm displayed by the citizens of Bengaluru who came together to protect the green cover in the city is undoubtedly heartwarming and proves that collective action is a solid deterrent to future misdeeds.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)