Telangana

Banyan trees on highway face the axe

A tree-lined stretch of the National Highway.

A tree-lined stretch of the National Highway.  

NGO waiting for permission to relocate them

Scores of fully grown decades-old giant Banyan trees on Hyderabad-Bijapur highway are on verge of being cut down for the proposed road widening of the National Highway even as green activists are scrambling to pool resources to save them.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) apparently has completed widening of road from Chevella towards Bijapur to a large distance where several such huge trees have already been axed but the spree of tree axing and widening from Hyderabad to Chevella did not escape the eye of voluntary body — Vata Foundation.

The Foundation (www.vatafoundation.org), specialising in tree translocation, immediately sprung into action and put out the word on its facebook and twitter handles appealing to TS Chief Minister’s office, top officials, NHAI and Roads & Buildings department to allow it to move the 250-odd giant trees trees instead of just cutting them down.

“However, we did not get any response so we decided to raise funds through crowd funding to relocate. We need permission to relocate trees on the margins of the new road to avoid transporting them to long distance at a high cost,” said Foundation trustee P. Uday Krishna.

Banyans are touted to be ‘tree of life’ and belongs to Vata family after which his Foundation is named, he pointed out, adding that they grow slow providing shelter and food to animals from ants to monkeys apart from having medicinal value.

He and his friends have already raised some money and another has donated three excavators for the purpose. “Excavators will cost us less than hiring a crane. We can begin work soon if permission is given. All it requires is to tend to the uprooted trees for a few weeks till the monsoon when they will bloom again,” he affirmed.

Tree takes root

Vata Foundation with Robinhood Army had recently moved eight fully grown trees on the Kothaguda-Hafeezpet stretch to a ‘tree less Government school’ in KPHB Colony when they were about to be chopped off for GHMC’s Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP). One particular tree was, in fact, left to ‘die’ on the roadside when it was picked up, transplanted and has now survived, Mr. Uday Krishna pointed out.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 4:15:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/banyan-trees-on-highway-face-the-axe/article26915000.ece

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