by Parul Aggarwal
A citizens’ effort takes off in Kadubeesanahalli and Panathur area of Whitefield in Bengaluru for turning their degraded surroundings green and clean. Home to major IT companies and software parks, this area is plagued by traffic woes, dumping of wastes while potholed roads has led to severe congestion on narrow roads.
With local authorities indifferent to their problems, a group of citizens launched a green drive on Sunday to plant saplings and bring back the green cover. This drive is the brainchild of Ram Munishwar, an IT professional and a resident of the area. Along with a group of active residents, he has been trying to initiate civic participation and coordinate with the local administration for the development of the area.
Participating in the event, Vijay Nishanth, tree doctor and urban conservationist said, “This drive is special for me because Ram helped me in saving 115 trees through transplantation in Whitefield. Now he is uniting citizens for a green cause and this is how we create a domino effect for change.”
Despite the event getting delayed, local residents participated whole heartedly in the green drive. Further, Nishanth spoke on the relevance of trees, their role in balancing ecology and city’s native trees which got little conservators interested.
In the first phase, 40 saplings were planted with the target being 900 trees in the coming days. Munishwar added, “We have a school, an apartment, a couple of shops and a few houses next to the line of trees and to ensure their survival, owners have been requested to water them regularly. We are eliciting support from various stakeholders to ensure regular watering and safety of the saplings, till they are deep-rooted and can sustain on their own.”
Apart from this, the residents of Panathur are getting active on social platforms like Twitter to make local authorities aware of their plight and might. Once Panathur and Kadubeesanahalli was dominated by vegetation and agricultural fields, however, today it is a hub of IT parks and residential complexes that are facing acute water shortage.
Residents who joined the drive said balancing the ecology of an area is the first step towards making it livable. “Trees are an important part of our survival and growing them has to be an integral part of development process, In fact, citizens should demand proper tree cover to reduce air and soil pollution. The green drives are a step in the right direction to create a sense of belongingness for trees.”