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Global warming: Trees are trees, be it steel flyover or metro

Global warming: Trees are trees, be it steel flyover or metro

Be it steel flyover or overhead rail tracks for metro, cutting of trees are same. More precisely, nature has an equal approach while it comes to tragedy befalling the trees in Bengaluru or across the globe.

Trees of Bangaluru. (Pic: Harsha Padyana)

Trees of Bangaluru. (Pic: Harsha Padyana)

Last month, IT (Information and Technology) capital became a testimony to wave of amplified protests over building steel flyover along the road to Kempegowda International Airport. One of the key reasons to oppose the project is cutting of as many as 800 trees. Certainly, cutting of trees has disastrous impact on environment on the long run.

Since a decade several trees have been felled for construction of tracks for metro rail project. There was no hue and cry then. Albeit, metro is in fact a best mode of travel, the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is facing allegation that compensation for cut trees has not been implemented properly. But the set of people upping the ante against steel flyover appears to be suffering from ‘selective amnesia’ as these people did not seem concerned about trees being cut for metro rail project.

A new DPR (Detailed Project Report) of the BMRCL  for a route Silk Board to K R Puram, which comes under its phase- 2, a 17 KM stretch says, 1,412 trees will be affected. There are no shrill voices, slogans (Beku and Beda) and political showdown. A selective approach may or may not benefit political parties, but toll will be on global warming and common citizens. Unless activists, politicians and policy makers cultivate a holistic approach, global warming will not see a solution at all.

Nature has its own way of reacting to things. The nature sees warming of globe as trees are being uprooted. The surplus or stored CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) in trees those cut will mingle with greenhouse gases further contributing to the global warming which many leaders and corporate houses deny its existence. “Making global warming a biggest problem of the country is insane and ridiculous. We have bigger problems to deal” said President-elect of America, Donald Trump, in an interview to an American news media, Fox News. Hypocrites are same in all nuke and corners of the world.

Professor at Center for Ecological Sciences in Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, T V Ramachandra makes a scathing observation on impact of cutting trees on global warming. “In 1800, the temperatures of Bengaluru in May was hovering between, 14 degree celsius to 16 degree celsius. In 2016, the May month saw a scorching heat and temperature was between 36 degree celsius to 40 degree celsius,” tells professor.

Globe is warming. (Representative Image)

Globe is warming. (Representative Image)

He opines with scientific knowledge and with inferences of many researches on the topic that deforestation increases the release of CO2 and mix with greenhouse gases contributing worst to global warning. “The water level at catchment area of Sharavati River has been drastically declined owing to deforestation. According to our study, catchment area of Sharavati is unable to hold water due to destruction of diverse vegetation in the area.”

Ramachandra stressed that over the years the percentage of rainfall has been decreased by 30%. This is a clear indication of global warming. Trees moderate the climate. The killing of trees and affects the globe is experiencing is a sound alarm. Professor says, even though metro is good, the BMRCL are not making up for the losses of flattened trees. They are fooling the public claiming that they have planted 20,000 trees, which is more than they have cut.

In Penya, BMRCL claimed, it has planted 3000 saplings. “But when we counted the number of trees it was only 1280.” This is the commitment level of BMRCL, he alleged. Experiments by him and his team has shown that river catchment areas hold water where vegetation is not trampled and it is otherwise in the areas where vegetation is affected by human activities. Karnataka will reel under severe water crisis in the coming years due to shortfall rain – a direct impact of global warming on civilisation. He added trees take away CO2 in the atmosphere and release life gas, Oxygen.

Vasanth Rao, an official from Public Relation Office of BMRCL tapped to seek response on the commitment of the corporation in connection to planting sufficient numbers of trees. He said “look for yourself in the BMRCL website for information.” However, while pressed him for a quote, he said he won’t be able to answer the question.

Pradeep Singh Kharola, Managing Director of BMRCL said the corporation is planting 10 trees for 1 cut. When sought a response for the allegation of manipulating the numbers, he said he is not interested to enter into an argument.

“The fight is for our right of healthy environment. The government should have some sense while selecting transport mobilisation projects. The government has no idea of impact of building steel flyover,” said M D Pallavi, a popular singer from the state of Karnataka and who was active in her fight against steel flyover project. For a question on metro, she said her concern goes beyond steel flyover and metro as Bengaluru is becoming unliveable city. But she did not spoke much on the means of fight against metro’s manipulated numbers. However, her concern looks genuine.

Actor-cum-activist, Prakash Belawadi tried to seek cover by throwing complex technical details of urban mobilisation and transportation. He is spearheading anti-steel flyover sentiments. As Samachara made efforts to pull him to basic question of link between trees and global warming, he said, “newspaper scribes must not get into argumentative mode” and asked to send questions through e-mail, to which Samachara did not sent one as it is not absolutely necessary.

T V Ramachandra says, President Bush disputed global warming as is now done by Donald Trump. These are fools. Glacier is melting. Sea level will rise. Settlements in the coastal areas will drown. It is coming fast than ever. If not addressed, it is deadly.

However, in IT capital, approach of activists on projects is selective. This in any way will not help the environment. Activists may stop steel flyover. But cutting of trees for other developmental projects will continue unabated damaging the environment, contributing to global warming.

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