Several bamboo trees in Cubbon Park were cut and taken away on Sunday, much to chagrin of early morning joggers and environmentalists.
However, the Horticulture Department, under whose purview Cubbon Park falls, said the bamboo trees had been sent to Lalbagh for the annual Independence Day Flower show. “It is only the unwanted bamboo that was given away. Bamboo generally grows back quickly, there should be no problem,” said Mahantesh Murugod, Deputy Director of Horticulture.
Earlier in the day, S. Umesh, a regular jogger at Cubbon Park said he was shocked to find the bamboo trees being cut. On noticing two truck loads of bamboo being transported, Umesh, who is also president of the Five-year Law Course Advocates Association, went to the authorities, who informed him of the bamboo’s destination.
Confirming that about 100 bamboo sticks were given to Lalbagh for the flower show, Mr. Mahantesh said the bamboo would be used for decorative purposes in the show. While he could not confirm if there was a practice of giving bamboo for such shows, Mr. Mahantesh said that as the need was urgent, no permission was sought from the Forest Department. He also added that he was directed to procure bamboo for the show by higher authorities in the department.
Meanwhile, Leo F. Saldanha, full-time coordinator of city-based NGO Environment Support Group, criticised the chopping of bamboos from Cubbon Park as it was a public space. “If bamboo was required for the flower show, it could have been bought from the market,” he said.