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By Green Minute News:

A lone Cashew tree, about 35-40 years old has stood the test of time on Bannerghatta Road amid traffic, chaos and urbanization. But alas! It has been standing alone for decades at the Jedi Mara junction all these years. But this Sunday, it heaved a big sigh of relief when it saw the planting of more cashew trees in its vicinity.

A new beginning was made in the city of Bengaluru with the revival of a quaint old tradition of tree planting and naming of roads after the species. On Sunday, at one of the busiest junctions of the city, the Jedi Mara junction in J P Nagar – a tree plantation drive took off to restore this tradition. 

This drive was basically to mark the revival of this forgotten tradition where once streets, roads and junctions and even bus stops were named after a particular tree. This was one way of conserving and protecting the tree cover of the city and maybe, that was the reason, Bengaluru was known as the Garden City of India.

Lokesh, a young resident from this area remarked that he would always dream that such a project would be revived by somebody or some organization in the city. And today, with the planting of 10 saplings of Jedi Mara (Cashew tree), he said his dreams were fulfilled as this has ensured that such a tradition is here to survive.

On their part, B Reddy Shankar Babu, IDES Special Commissioner, (Estate/forest/horticulture/Lakes/education), Bengaluru and Urban DC Bengaluru, J Manjunath expressed their happiness that such a program had taken off in the city. Such traditions have been existing for a long time in Bengaluru and so, there is an urgent need to restore this. With population increasing in Bengaluru manifold, the culture of tree planting and road naming has to expand to other parts of the city. 

They added, “It was a very good thought to revive such a program what with the ratio of trees per humans decreasing in the city. We extend our total cooperation and will provide all help in reviving this tradition. This scheme should be taken up in Malleshwaram which has many roads and streets named after tree species and there is an urgent need to revive this culture in this area. We need activism in the city for such programs to succeed.”

Earlier, citizens nurtured a tree species on a street or a road and named the road after that species to give importance to the practice of tree planting and also to conserve our environment. Even today, one can see the semblance of this beautiful tradition in many areas of Bengaluru but not many trees are surviving from that period.

The Margosa Road or the Sampige Road in Malleshwaram and Hunasemara bus stop in Banashankari or Jedi Mara junction in J P Nagar or the Aralimara bus stop in Chikkalasandra portrays this unique tradition. However, activists from the city felt the need to revive this tradition and give an impetus to tree plantation in the city whose population has burgeoning over the years.

According Vijay Nishanth, Project Vruksha Foundation, the revival project has started with Jedi Mara Junction where only one Jedimara tree was surviving. “The Jedimara saplings was planted on Jedi Mara junction near Shoppers stop, Bannerghatta Road. This has been done in collaboration with BBMP forest cell. We plan to take this plantation drive across Bengaluru to revive this culture and people can identify and contact us to take up this program in their areas and localities. We express our gratitude to the Special commissioner and DC for extending their support.”

Deputy Conservator of Forests Govindraj extended his full support to the program. The event saw the participation of S K Nataraj, former Mayor of Bengaluru, K N Lakshmi Natraj, corporator of J P Nagar Ward, 177, Bhagya Lakshmi Murali, corporator, Arkere Ward, Ex-corporator Arkere Murali, Srinivas Raj, Vegacity Mall and others in an effort to revive this hoary tradition.