In around three years' time, several areas in the city will have trees bearing flowers, once the saplings planted by the Forest Department grow.
Range Forest Officer Clifford Lobo told The Hindu that this year the department had planted 15,000 saplings of flowering and fruit-bearing trees across the city. “The flowering trees we have chosen are of around 10 different colours. Next year, we are planning to plant around 40 to 50 verities,” Mr. Lobo said.
The department has planted the saplings in about 20 places, including along the Kulur bridge-National Institute of Technology Karnataka stretch of National Highway 17, the Yeyyadi-Kavoor road, Radio Park, Urwa and Hathill Park.
In addition, 5,000 saplings have been distributed among the people. The department has collected the telephone numbers of those who took the saplings. They will be asked about the status of trees once the monsoon ends. Officials of the department and interested citizens have painstakingly (along with labourers who dug the pits) planned and organised the kind of trees to be planted, he said.
“We got a lot of support from the public this year. Several non-governmental organisations and volunteers helped in planting the trees,” Mr. Lobo said. A striking feature of this year's efforts is that a large number of saplings were planted in cemeteries in the Nandigudda area. During a meeting of the Forest Department with people , Jeet Roche, a resident of Morgan's Gate, came up with the idea of planting trees in cemeteries, Mr. Lobo said.
“I lost many plants on the roads, that is why I thought of graveyards,” said Mr. Roche. He has been planting trees for around five to six years, often spending his own money. He has planted several trees in the area around his house. Now, three three-year-old casuarinas trees stand tall by the side of the lane on which his house is located. He has spent several days marking spots for planting the saplings.
Another volunteer, who has spent several days planting trees with the Forest Department, Daniel Tauro, said that his family owned one of the earliest nurseries in the city. “We are not doing anything great. It is everybody's responsibility to plant trees.”