For the widening of state highway 35, over 80 trees had been marked for axing; by the time the residents could act, most of them were uprooted. They still managed to save three peepal trees and a neem tree by raising Rs 3 lakh through crowd funding that was backed by an active social media campaign in the IT city. Within a month the money was generated, logistics were worked out and the work started on Friday. The initiative is being billed as the country's first crowd funded tree translocation.
"There was a small protest that we did and we had gone to the gates of the MLA for funding, nobody helped us. Once the fund came through, we were all very positive about it. There are lots of people around the world supporting this activity," said Joy, general secretary of Sarjapur Residents Welfare Association.
Three trees have been translocated to Inventure Academy, an international school on Sarjapur Road, while one has been moved to a villa project.
The school came forward to provide land for the tree to send a message to its students. "I think when the government fails it is important for citizens to stand up and assert themselves," said Nooraine Fazal, the CEO of Inventure Academy.
"We have treated the roots and given enzymes and other chemicals required. Maintenance is important, earlier translocations failed because of lack of maintenance. Here we will take care of that," said Urban Conservationist Vijay Nishanth.
Bengaluru is set to lose a lot of greenery for the upcoming stages of the metro and various road widening projects and this initiative could set a precedent and help the city retain its Garden city tag.