Monday, May 21, 2007

road-widening = cutting down trees

Bangalore Mahanagara Palike(BMP/BBMP) has started work on widening roads. They've earmarked a few roads, which bear the brunt of traffic. Coincidently, these roads are lined by trees. And the first step in this direction is to chop down trees. Huge trees, which have grown over decades, provide the hard-to-spot shelter.

I consider it fortunate to use these roads on my daily journey to college and back. My favourite stretch lies on Palace Road and Nrupathunga Road. It is pleasant to travel on those roads even on sunny day. Moreover, potholes are considerably lesser in number. It's nice to drive on those roads.

Though Palace Road is not wide, it provides shade. I saw a photo of labourers axing a tree on Palace Road. Apparently, this is just the beginning. Various other roads are entitled to be treated in the same fashion.

Will this act really ease the situation at Bangalore??

Perhaps, it will. Making way for a increased number of vehicles to use those widened roads. Maybe, it will not, recreating bottlenecks, the same old tale.

All in the name of globalisation!


December Stud said...

This is truly sad!!! They did the same thing in a residential locality in Mysore a few eyars ago. I am sure this is going on day in and day out in all the cities in India. I am not sure how we can stop that, but ought to. I know people have spoken against this in blogs, but there must be soemthing else we can do, other than not voting them back to power....coz all decision makers and politicans are same anyway.

Arun said...

Wider roads mean more vehicles. This tree chopping is not a solution at all. Infact the problems will be more once the trees are gone. I never thought that Palace Road, Seshadri Road and Nrupathunga Road would never be touched as they are the best parts of Bangalore when we talk about trees. But lack of imagination, tree lobby, et al are working hard. The solution is quicker mass transit. The Govt has to manage the city the way they inherited and plan for the future. Public outcry will halt these mindless road widening.
I can write a lot. But let me stop.

DS - couple of years when BMP wanted to cut 720 trees across Blr, a protest and good gathering that questioned the then Commr put a halt to the work. It was basically the timber and cement lobby. Many of the trees in Blr on some roads are of hardwood type. BMP auctions these at some 10k per tree, where the mkt value would be about 3-5 lakhs. Gothaithalla hege antha? A group called Hasiru Usiru (HU)was formed, a PIL was filed and the HC issued an order that HU members need to be present when BMP inspects any tree for cutting.

Recently, Platform for Citizens Assoc (PCA) was launched to tackle issues related to trees, traffic, culture, et al.

At Mysore too, ACICM and MGP are doing their bit. You are aware too.

Mouna - an underpass at Tagore Park, Basavanagudi is proposed and approved. 119 trees have been identified. Can you believe this? Basavanagudi will never be the same again. We should protest these ridiculous ideas the BMP, MLAs propose. Where is the need for an underpass here. There are other places in Blr where traffic gets clogged for hours.

Hope your blog will be one of the mediums to get people together against Bangalore's destruction and be part of HU as well.

Prasanna Sastry said...

As of now there is no choice left due to mounting pressure from the Blue eyed industry (IT) and the fear that B'lore would loose some biggies in the game. We can't blame BMP for this. The choice is whether u still like to call Bengaluru as Garden City and put a fullstop there or call it a silicon city and put a comma. Choice is clear. We should be blaming the Govt in 80s for the shortsightedness in terms of growth and expansion. The same is happening in all the Metros and ofcourse Hyderabad too. What BMP shud do is continue planting on the ORRs and other locations. Since we cant do away with Hawkers due to various reasons the only choice are those poor trees who could probably be elder than me by atleast 50-60 years

mouna said...

this is scheduled to happen around the city. protests are heard now and then, but nothing has been actually been done. well, a few cases have seen the tree being victorious. yes , politicians, be it from any party, are the same.

if i remember correctly, they plan to plant 2 saplings for every tree
chopped... they are keen in following this...

'mass transit' does sound good, but the implementation will take years...

wonder why these roads have to be widened? nrupathunga road faces clogs once in a while yes, but the other two... they seem fine. and sheshadri road, is doing fine after the construction of the flyover...

another point pointed by green activists is that the trees substituted for the felled ones are of a different kind. something that does not serve the purpose.... to this effect. apparently tamarind-like trees are planted which grow in a relatively short span of time. the more efficient ones like silk-cotton are not used, as they take long time to grow... there's something regarding this.. i'm not sure...

pray, what purpose does the flyover near national college, basavanagudi serve. i don't understand the funda behind the construction of flyovers at places which does not require one. it's not surprising that an underpass at tagore park is to come by..

btw, thanks!! :)

prasanna sastry,
yes, BBMP bears the brunt, when all the related bodies(both government and private) is at fault.

perhaps, the govt. during the 80's were to blame, but the govt. in the recent past had some time to correct mistakes, if not evict them completely. if proper decisions wer taken even about 5-6 years back, the situation would've been quite better...

Priya said...

I do agree in a way with prasanna, a little planning would have helped Bangalore retain its beauty..but nevertheless, may be constructing 'metro project' under a record time would really help deconjestion here...when fly-overs such as the one near airport road can take more than 5 years, can't imagine how many years Metro would take..hmnm

mouna said...

that's another solid point, they take ages to finish any project.

since metro is relatively more time consuming, hope they intend to finish it quickly, it'll really help the city..