Hacked to Death

Well, the title sounds and appears very morbid, doesn’t it? But then, if you are sensitive to Bangalore’s ecology, perhaps thats what you’d feel. Read on.

For years, Bangaloreans have never failed to stand up collectively for the one thing that makes our city unique – its trees and green cover. But now, many are forced to stand and watch as mute witnesses to their destruction as they are cut mercilessly to make way for the alternative public transport system.

An anguished letter from a reader (I’m unable to reproduce the letter here as the scanned pic file size is way too large) was printed in the TOI a few days back by a reader, Ms. Ruby Kamdin. In it, she states / asks:

“…isn’t the whole purpose of a metro is to decongest the city and leave its lung space intact? On the matter of replacing the cut trees with saplings, she asks ‘ ..there is no guarantee that those saplings will ever get to be mature trees.’ She also charges the BMRC with talking only about trees on MG Road while there are hundreds of other trees all over the route that will face the executioner’s axe.

Well, feel free to express yourself when you see this butchering of a tree on Old Madras Road, just before the Byapannahalli Terminal.

Day 1:


Day 2:


Day 3:


As for the question just how many trees are going to be cut, if its any indication, watch the markers on the following trees in order of their location – CMH Road, 100 ft Road and Old Madras Road, just before the Terminal. There seems to be a huge mismatch between the proposed number of trees to be cut (if the markers are any indication, as I said earlier) and page 15 of what the environment impact assessment report from here says.




One wonders if its any surprise why statistics ( or surveys, for that matter ) are often clubbed together with lies and damned lies?

Whats your take?

Update: More pics on the Metro work status coming up. Watch this space.

16 Comments so far

  1. Chitra (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

    OMG! Heart-wrenching!

  2. Can_we_do_something (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

    Can we do something about it, rather than just reading and feeling guilty and bringing ourselves in distress, can’t we do something to stop this evil thing from happening in the so called “Garden City of India”, I am an outsider and I don’t know of any other city in India which had so many nice, tall and lovely trees in India, both in terms of number and in terms of density.
    I don’t want to listen to the answer that Metro is the need of today and it will be good for the future, what good will be it for future after cutting down so many trees and challenging the existance of the own city, these trees were quite old, made the those old people, who understood that how important they are for the life, today do you see any tree going up, that way in which these trees are there today.
    I am sure some of these tress might be as old as 200 years, and have seen all kinds of reign, from Mysore kingdom, to British to Indian, and at the end they are getting destroyed by so called their own people.
    Whatever be the reason, may it be poultaion growth, IT boom, Techies Rush, but those trees have not done any harm to any of these, then why is such ill treatment given to them.
    I want to cry loud, and want to stop this from happening, but find myself helpless, it is like a big burden I have put on my soulders and will always be there with me, as no one can take it from my mind and soul.
    I am not clever enough to suggest for any alternate solution, but I am not able to bear this pain, especially when it is not a natural calamity, it is all man made, for one own’s self. I would pray to god to give some light to those people who are behind it and they realize that what they are doing is not good, nor eco-friendly, nor justicce to the trees, which are 2-3 generation older then they themsleves are.

  3. Suyog (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 12:23 am

    I completely agree with Ravi when he says that there is a mismatch between what the report says and the number of trees going down. This should be raised as a valid concern and pursued since no tree should be felled needlessly. But I am really not sure why we are getting so emotional about this whole affair. Let us not forget where our houses today stand and where our offices tower over the landscape, stood wonderful trees. Did we choose not to come to this city and leave it like it was ? Nope – the fact that we want to live in Bangalore, work in Bangalore and have a nice time implies that we accept our domination over nature. How many of us have bought land and just let trees grow over there ? I am sure none! Let us stop this hypocritical attitude and tackle issues without getting sentimental about it. Only then will we have balanced progress.

  4. Anjan (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 3:23 am

    I dont know if they have considered moving th tree’s , it is a mastered science, i have seen 200 yr old redwood trees being relocated to make way for construction…We should investigate that option.

  5. Chitra (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 7:12 am

    @ Suyog, somehow it is really hard not to get emotional. Logic and emotion are 2 different things. While you brain can “understand” the goings on, it is still very difficult to see such pics. At least for me. I understand what you mean, however just see the pics in isolation, don’t you feel bad?

  6. Vasanth (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 7:22 am

    One alternate solution was instead of running metro by the side of the road, it should have been made to run on the road itself with its pillars at the centre. This is how it has been done in Sirsi Circle Flyover running from Sirsi Circle to Town Hall. Trees have not been axed.It is a 4 lane road on the top. Metro is only 2 track. Space should be sufficient. We may loose only few branches of the trees.

  7. psj (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 11:40 am

    Were’nt all of us aware that Tree’s would be cut for the Metro?.I think its too late to start cribbing abt it now.In fact its bad if the work has to stop in the middle because of all this worry abt tree felling.We shld be happy in the hope that our grand children will have a better future.

  8. Sanjay (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

    @PSJ, yes your grand children will have a better future. A future in which they will be carrying their oxygen bottles along with water bottles to school. I doubt if you have been to delhi or calcutta. Then you would not have utterred these words.

    @SUYOG – I don’t know what to say about your post. You say that we must not be sentimental and our houses and offices are standing on the slaughterhouses of trees. You are right. But is it right.

    You are talking about balanced growth. Where is the balance. Have u thought about the cost future generations will be paying for this so called growth of yours.
    Please go and visit other metros and see with your own eyes.

    This growth of yours is killing bangalore and in a very short time, it will be dead. Then the mercenaries like u will pack up and leave like vultures leaving the locals to pick up the pieces.


  9. psj (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

    @Sanjay,I havent been to Delhi,been in Bangalore all my life.But i read that pollution levels have dropped after introduction of Metro and CNG Vehicles..We have already seen our City drop to such pathetic state,If metro promises a better future why cant we strive for it,There is no gain without pain.

  10. kumar (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 5:22 pm

    The Metro Rail may or may not help Bangalore.
    A few trees will be felled for the Metro, and the solution lies not in breast-beating, but in finding solutions. For every tree felled, twice that number of saplings can be planted in the city.

    I agree with Suyog that this kind of ‘elite’ environmentalism sounds hypocritical.The strategy is simple: spot a development plan that is considered positive by the government, criticise it, launch suits, create all kinds of confusion and delay the project. I would like to suggest that it is better to start environmentalism from our own homes itself.There are so many things that we do that does not look green.

  11. Naren (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

    Hacked to Death off this blog????/ No post since 23 hrs!!!!!!

  12. Chitra (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 7:39 pm

    LOL Naren! High expectations, huh? :)

  13. Ravi (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 8:48 am

    @Chitra: Yes, it is. Lets say, its an 80 year old tree. How will feel to see it cut down in 3 days????

    @can_we_do_something: thank you for sharing the depth of your feelings…I’m with you in your sorrow. unfortunately, this is one thing that we have to simply bear, in the name of progress. Personally, I want the Metro badly as it will decongest Bangalore and make life better for road users. Perhaps, we should meet up for a tree planting drive?

  14. Ravi (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 8:55 am

    @Suyog: i believe chitra has answered, as if I were writing! having said that, i think you’ve not read my earlier posts where I’ve mentioned that I’m the Metro’s biggest fan and i’m steeling myself to accept the inevitable as far as clearing the path for the track. still, it hurts seeing those trees go.

  15. Ravi (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 8:59 am

    @anjan: thanks! over here, we take the path of least resistance or knowledge. and besides, there are powerful lobbies wanting to make a quick buck. so down with the trees. money’s waiting to be made. get it?

    @vasanth: thanks for your comment. not sure how to answer..only that building a metro track is perhaps different than that of a flyover and required an absolutely free path?

  16. shame_shame (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 5:05 pm

    Will This Metro train will also have rest-room? Think now that any one is in hurry and goes to No. 2, in the train and train is going on top of M. G. Road, on this so called boulevard, where people are walking down, how bad it will be

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