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Silent massacre

Nirmala Nagaraj, student, wonders if we'll mourn the loss of a tree only when we gasp for breath



Nirmala Nagaraj:'Nobody is botthered about trees.'

"FOR THE past ten years, I have been travelling to the centre of the city via the National Highway, during which period I have witnessed the rise and fall of many buildings from Kirloskar to Metro. I never missed those changing cine posters on roadside walls and the huge cutouts of our matinee idols. But only yesterday, when my regular bus broke down in between the highway and I had to walk a few miles to reach the nearby bus stop did I realise that I something was amiss: those huge trees giving shelter to all the pedestrians.

"I would not have noticed this if it weren't for the sun scorching down ruthlessly on me. It shows how self-centred and self-occupied we are. We have blindfolded ourselves so much that we are not even aware of things around us. In fact, we know about the war in Iraq, terrorist attacks in Russia and the death of farmers in the neighbouring State. We stage dharnas not just for victims but also for those accused, as the recent Dhananjoy Chatterjee's or Uma Bharthi's cases have proven to us.

"But no one is bothered about those great trees, which stood there silently for years. Isn't axing them a massive massacre? Why is there no action being taken and why haven't our activists noticed it?

"If a few accidents have been caused due to these trees, why blame them? Rather, BESCOM should be blamed for its disorganised and dangerous positioning of the electric poles and for those worn out wires. The municipal corporation is also to blame for its irrational digging around the city, thereby not just wasting their money and public time, but also loosening the roots of trees. With so much messed up around the tree, how can they expect it to stand erect even it has life?

"Despite experiencing terrible consequences, we have not been able to understand and realise that our intervention with nature has always been a cause of disturbance. The loss of a tree is something that cannot be compensated, but thankfully, it can always be replaced.

If this is not done, our future generation will struggle for fresh air as we now struggle for fresh water. And air is not something that can be packaged or bottled. It needs to be planted."

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