As 80-yr-old banyan tree goes ‘missing’, Whitefield residents plan tree census
After an 80-year-old Banyan tree went ‘missing’ from Whitefield Main Road, the residents of the area have decided to carry out a tree census to determine the number of trees in the area.
Whitefield residents have reached out to environmentalist Vijay Nishanth, who has been working for the conservation of Bengaluru’s green cover, for his help.
This comes after an FIR was registered against an unidentified person for chopping off a massive 100-year-old Banyan tree on the Whitefield Main Road.
Nitya Ramakrishnan, a member of the resident group Whitefield Rising, realised that the tree was missing on February 24. After conversations with several residents about the missing tree, she filed a complaint at the Whitefield Police Station. “An FIR was registered on February 26. We have taken up a case under the Karnataka Forest Act,” said a police official, speaking to The Hindu.
Police confirmed that they are investigating the case since trees cannot be cut down without necessary permissions from the forest department.
The BBMP had planned a tree census to determine the number of trees in Bengaluru which is set to begin from Jayanagar this month.
"The long-planned tree census is beginning on March 17 from Jayanagar. But after the incident in Whitefield, I have received requests from residents in the area to carry out a tree census there as well,” says Vijay.
According to residents, the banyan tree was around 80 years old and it needed a group of people, heavy machinery and vehicles to cut it down and transport it. "It is impossible to cut it down in a single day. This is a process that has been undertaken over a period of time because you have to rope the tree and then cut it down. Even if it happened at night, it should have been spotted by residents. We need better awareness,” adds Vijay.