There is some hope for two of the 200 trees earmarked for felling to make way for the Gottigere-Swagath Road Cross section on Reach 6 (Gottigere-Nagawara) of Namma Metro’s Phase II project. Concerted efforts are on by residents of BTM Layout and Jayanagar to save the two trees — banyan and peepal — at Jayadeva flyover and get them translocated. Vijay Nishanth, who describes himself as a tree doctor and an employee of Convergys, an IT company, has taken the lead to protect the trees.
“The employee called and asked me if there were alternative ways to save the trees. I suggested they could be translocated,” Vijay said. The trees are 60 years old and healthy and will survive if translocated. “Ficus trees normally have a long life and continue to grow even after they are translocated. Our government only needs to buy machines to get the trees transplanted without harming them,” Vijay explained. He referred the employee to Joy VR, founder of RWA Sarjapur, who is known for his crowdfunding drives. “It showed positive results in Sarjapur in 2017,” Joy said. They have raised Rs 8,000. In 2017, three trees were on the verge of being cut for infrastructure projects in Sarjapur but Joy’s crowdfunding and awareness campaign resulted in them being translocated.
Translocating the two trees will cost Rs 6.8 lakh, according to Joy. But if the government chooses to get involved, it could be reduced to just Rs 3 lakh, he added. The activists are looking at shifting the banyan and peepal trees to a place near Arekere Lake.