Imagine a beautiful stretch of road with canopied trees. Yes, that’s the part of the Outer Ring Road located between Marathahalli and Chinnappannahalli.
Not long ago, there were 30 Tespesia Papulenia (Behandi) trees located on this stretch.
So, what could offer a better view than these trees, which were around 7 metres tall? An iPhone ad of a beautiful New York sunset.
“As many as 17 trees were poisoned and the branches of 13 others were chopped off by an advertising company to make the hoarding visible,” said Thimmappa, BBMP’s Assistant Conservator of Forests, Mahadevapura zone.
Thimmappa said the hoarding has been placed inside the property of the Archbishop House. He said:
This is an illegal hoarding and an unauthorised advertising company named Nile Enterprises Pvt Ltd located in Frazer Town has put up the hoarding. The ad agency and the owners of the Archbishop House had made an agreement for putting up the hoarding.
The BBMP Forest Cell officials had received information from a tree conservationist named Vijay Nishanth on 2 March that several trees had been poisoned.
On the same day, Thimmappa and his team inspected the spot and found that the mud and roots had been dug up and acid had been poured in, after which the trees began to wilt.
Incident Not the First of Its Kind
When asked about other such incidents, Thimmappa said:
Of the poisoned trees, just three could be saved. The remaining 13 no longer have a canopy. This was done for one hoarding. During the investigation, we found that the branches of 10 other trees have been cut off for another hoarding on Kalamandir Road. We are figuring out who the advertiser is and will issue a notice to them as well.
The owners of the Archbishop House and Nile Enterprises were issued notices on Tuesday by the BBMP’s Forest Cell.
They have been given three days’ time to respond to the notice. “We have asked them the cost of the hoarding and also how much money the Archbishop House has received. Once we get the reply, we will decide if a complaint can be filed under the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act,” he added.
Vijay Nishanth, also popularly known as the 'Tree Doctor', told TNM that there was one more hoarding on the same road and the trees were targeted for the two hoardings. The investigation on which agency put up that hoarding is still on.
“It keeps happening in Bengaluru and it is very disturbing. We have treated three trees out of this lot,” he told TNM.
Vijay and his team clean the affected area and apply a liquid bandage made with orange oil and bee wax.