When residents of a Bengaluru neighbourhood realised that the beloved trees in their vicinity were in danger of being axed for the purpose of road-widening, they decided to not merely save them but undertake their translocation to safer locations around the city.
The Sarjapur Resident Welfare Association (SRWA) has raised close to ₹3 lakh through an online campaign, and successfully translocated four trees from the neighbourhood.
Raicy Mathew, the environment secretary of Sarjapur RWA and one of the driving forces behind the initiative, spoke to New Indian Express about how the residents came to a consensus on saving the trees. “There was a huge tree near Sarjapur police station which attracted beautiful birds,” he said. “One fine day, I saw the branches of the tree being chopped by half. It was being done for road widening. I saw many trees adjacent to the police station being axed. I brought the issue to the RWA’s notice. This is when many like-minded people came together and research started.”
The three peepal trees and the one neem tree were moved with the help of Jeyam Landscape, a Chennai-based landscape and gardening consulting enterprise. The residents also found ideal homes for these trees before the translocation was initiated; a school has taken the responsibility of three of the trees while the fourth has been adopted by a local association.