Remember how, not so long ago, little sparrows and several other birds were a regular fixture in and around the city??? Ever wondered where the sparrows have gone?? Increase in pollution, loss of green cover and irrelevant cutting of older trees has resulted in the diminished bird population. The answer to how to save trees may lie in “Tree relocation”.“In a decade from now, we are going to be hard pressed to see a tree that is 20-25 yrs old around Hyderabad or any other city” says Uday Krishna- founder of Vata Foundation. He also says “In our race to become ‘developed’, we are ignoring a key element- our green cover.” Neatly manicured, landscaped garden will not attract biodiversity. They are not going to bring back the butterflies, squirrels or birds. Saving the trees is the only way.
As a growing city, we need wider roads, flyovers and apartment complexes. Uday says that “In fact my journey started when I submitted a tender in 2010 for a foot-over bridge in kukatpally, Hyderabad. While conducting a survey, I realized that 16 fully grown Peltophorum pterocarpum (yellow flame tree) were marked for cutting, because authorities marked them as non-relocatable. And I was in a conundrum as what to do. While walking around around, I came upon a street right next that was completely devoid of trees. Once the situation was explained, the residents of the street supported the idea of relocating the trees.”
In a positive turn of events, 15 of those 16 trees survived and continue to adorn the street. This incident was an eye opener for Uday Krishna. Along with his friends, Jyothi konda and sumesha Thoutireddy, the Vata Foundation was formed. The core focus of the foundation was to ‘save tiger and its jungle’ but it slowly expanded to include the relocation of trees.
Sometimes you win, sometimes environment loses.
Three years ago, when Raidurgam road in Hyderabad was getting widened, about 300 trees were identified as being in the path of the expansion plan. But instead of chopping them down, officials choose to retain them. They were placed in the middle of the road and on the sidewalks. This example teaches us that the environment and trees, in particular, have to be a part of the plan right from the beginning, and not just incorporated as an after thought. It’s a complete win-win situation.
During a road widening project next to the Hyderabad Botanical Garden, the permission to relocate 198 trees that were in the way was denied. Uday Krishna went to court and filed a PIL, but unfortunately, the court was on vacation at that time. When the judge finally read the petition and granted permission to relocate the trees, 133 trees had already been cut. The judge came down heavily on the authorities and vata foundation allowed to relocate the remaining trees.
In recent past, 92 trees were identified, and bulk of them was relocated to a graveyard near Manikonda where the sarpanch came forward in support. All the trees continued to thrive. He says that precision and patience are the keys for a successful translocation.
A teacher in government girls’ school from nagarkarnool, Ms.Yashoda appealed to uday and his team, to come and save a jungle jalebi tree (Pithicellobium Dulce) that had collapsed months before during a storm. The tree continued to show signs of life. Uday and his team chose to see the tree as a means to educate the masses. They travelled 130 kms from Hyderabad, surveyed the situation and hired a JCB to help with setting the tree back in its place. It took three hours to get the job done. Bu this act, an entire district learned about the possibilities of replanting.
Steps to be followed for the relocation of trees:
Identify the tree to be moves and also the place to be moved
Write to the concerned authorities for permission
If trees are identified during the peak summer, ask for permission to wait till monsoon
Avoid relocation during the Rohini/Karthik period
Once the place of relocation is identified, money needs to be arranged for hiring the JCB, labour, truck. Usually the people who agree to host the tree also pay for the move. The costing depends upon the size of the tree, number of trees and the distance it needs to be moved. The cost therefore varies from 2,500/- to 25,000/-.
It takes about 2-3 days of planning and organizing
The root needs to be taken care of and packed perfectly. Once the tree has been extracted, it needs to be planted as soon as possible
Uday and his team have identified 300 plus trees that need relocating in and around Hyderabad. They are looking for people to come forward and adopt these trees and help to save trees too.
To adopt a tree or know more, get in touch with Uday Krishna: