Felling 1800 Trees in Lalbagh is Criminal and Insane!

Building a metro is a good thing, I suppose. Maybe it will actually make it easier to get around in the city and reduce traffic congestion and pollution. But there must be some other way of doing it. This is just heartbreaking. Is there no voice in this whole city powerful enough to prevent this?

I have written before, long, long ago, of my own personal Garden of Eden. It was the idyllic garden of my childhood, where every conceivable kind of fruit tree stood, and none was forbidden. I must have spent at most six years of my childhood in that house, with that garden, but it defined the way I relate to trees – and by extension to nature – for good. I remember once, running a fever of 103, bundled up in my warmest sweater on a mild day, clamouring to be let out; and when I was finally let out, I headed straight for the shady depths of the litchi tree. I remember sitting under the angular, white-barked guava trees, slicing green guavas with a blunt knife and rubbing them with black salt and gobbling them up fresh, without even the benefit of a quick wash first. It was the Garden of Eden – why wash the fruit?

Trees are friendly people. Before I knew anything about photosynthesis and carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the atmosphere, I knew that trees were good to have around. They provided a cosy, leafy, shady haven in any kind of weather; and at the right time, they provided various types of delicious, sweet, juicy, cool fruit. They were wise and cool and steady as grandparents, warm and inviting and loyal as best friends. They never disagreed with you or scolded you or laughed at you. They were, in fact, almost as valuable as the imaginary friends I shared them with.

But now I’m all grown up; and though it still feels like murder, I force myself to accept that at times it is necessary to cut down trees, in the interests of our selfish, modern, urban lives. In the usual greedy way of the human race, we need more space for our roads, our houses, our offices, our hotels. But Lalbagh is THE botanical garden of Bangalore. Is there really no other way to create our precious metro by going around it. Do we really have to take one thousand eight hundred trees down for this? With all our science, technology, creativity, and every other kind of skill available to us today, can we find no way around this small, tiny island of greenery, nature, beauty? Really?

7 Responses to Felling 1800 Trees in Lalbagh is Criminal and Insane!

  1. doug H says:

    I feel the same as you about nature.
    What a tragedy about the trees.
    Of course there’s a way to build around them to create a metro, but it would undoubtedly cost more.

    We have the same problem here with massive deforestation by the logging companies. They cut down 95% of the tallest, oldest trees on earth, the giant Redwoods and Sequoias.
    Several years ago a young woman climbed up one of the oldest redwood trees to save it from being killed. This beautiful tree has been alive since before the time of Christ.
    After she climbed the tree, she build herself a platform and refused to leave, living there for about a year I think.
    The lumber companies resorted to the most heinous actions in an attempt to get her down, some of which nearly resulted in her death.
    I don’t recall what the final outcome was for the tree, but the girl, Butterfly, eventually came down and is, I imagine, still working to protect our irreplaceable forests. What’s left of them.

    In the case of the trees in Lalbagh, one would wish that the officials in charge of it’s decimation would be responsive to a sufficiently large public outcry.
    Any other result would be, as you said, criminal and insane.

  2. Arun says:

    Metro is an eyewash! Its meant for the mass which uses public transport day-to-day..in blr, public transport was never a problem..its not hard to find your seat in the city bus! The roads are choked by private vehicles and they will keep them choked even after Metro.
    I was a regular morning vistor to lalbagh for the 5 yrs i stayed close by there. I know many trees there personally including 3 edible fruit ones which does not come to market but i taste them there! ๐Ÿ™‚
    And i like few of the road sections in blr which look best and sometimes look down to earth when it rains..i know few kannada duet songs as well which were shot in those road sections.. one is the MG road section where the shops in one side and the garden in the opp side with a walking path..the other is the road which connects the south end circle to the BTM road..and one another is the KR road which connects the market to gandhi bazar. All these will be murdered shortly and i dont have any sentiments or what so ever bcz after my 9yrs here in blr, i have decided to go back to my home town and settle down in another 3 or 4 yrs for the only reason that it does not make any sense to me to setup my family here and expose them to these happenings!.. so no issues for me! Enjoy Metro!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    The reason for the tree felling is that the govt has decided its better to chop trees and face the consequences rather then fighting with each & every property owners for a decade.. you can see them carefully selecting the non-private landscape which is nothing but gardens and what else it could be in a garden city!

  3. poupee97 says:

    Hi Doug: Yes, I’ve read about the giant redwoods and how they’re almost all gone. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I hadn’t heard about Butterfly, though. We could use some of her over here. Public outcry doesn’t achieve much over here until it becomes a real mass uprising – which, all said and done, is unlikely to happen for just a few trees. Only a handful of people are going to mourn for them.

    Arun: Go back to your home town, but the problem will follow you there and to the ends of the earth. If only it were so simple.

  4. Arun says:

    atleast i am helping the city traffic by taking off couple of vehicles! ๐Ÿ™‚
    changes are there in home town too but comparing to a city changes, its negligible i can say.. with the only worry being the “U” turn in the career path! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. poupee97 says:

    Arun: Yes, that’s true! So what about your career, then?

  6. Arun says:

    I am looking at the options now and hoping that i can make out a plan in the next few years and move back.
    It was easy to flee after studies but going back now to that society is tough!

  7. Lubi :) says:

    how sad ๐Ÿ˜ฆ very sad!! this is depressing me now ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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