A personal mini-accident has led a Bengaluru-based civic activist and his friends to take on a noble campaign to free trees in the city from nails and advertisement staples. On November 15, Vinod Kartavya, who works as an assistant scientist at the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in the city, was riding his two-wheeler near his home in Sampangi Rama Nagara when he got a phone call from a friend. So he parked his bike on the side of the road and started attending the call under the shade of a tree. But as he leaned on the trunk of the tree, he got hurt as a nail clipped to the tree scraped the back of his head.
From then he decided that he would start removing nails and advertising staple pins from the cityâ€™s streets so that nobody else gets hurt like him again. â€śSo, every Sunday (starting from November 15), I, either alone or along with my friends, go out on my bike and free the trees from these nails, advertisement placards and other illegal signages that are pasted or stuck in the trees,â€ť he told TNM.
â€śOn the first day we collected 40 nails and around 500 staple pins from 10 trees on the Vittal Mallya Road alone,â€ť he added.
Continuing on his mission till November 29, Vinod and his friends cleared nails from 40 trees from the Sampangi Rama Nagara ward in the Central Business District area.
He said, â€śAs the billboard advertisement has been illegal now by BBMP, the advertisements for Call Centres, PG Accommodation, banking employment, Fortune teller have chosen the wrong path of advertising on the trees for their benefit. Sadly the impact of these on trees are long lasting, when a tree has been hit with nails it's life is going to be drastically reduced to 60 - 70%.â€ť
While it is illegal to stick bills on trees according to the Tree Preservation Act and Bangalore Municipal Act, there is hardly any enforcement of this rule.