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400-year-old Banyan Tree Under Threat as K'taka Govt Plans Walkway Around it

Pressure has been mounting on the authorities since then to drop the plan.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:October 16, 2018, 4:52 PM IST
400-year-old Banyan Tree Under Threat as K'taka Govt Plans Walkway Around it
Construction going on around the Banyan tree. (Image: Twitter)

Bengaluru: The government in Karnataka has been undermining the environmental consequences in view of development. Initially, trees were chopped and then growth of a 400-year-old banyan tree was stunted. The government is now planning to develop a concrete walkway around the huge banyan tree.

The tree, spread over two acres, is located near Kengeri, around 30km from Bengaluru. The tourism department, which is executing the plan, began work last week. Pressure has been mounting on the authorities since then to drop the plan. This move comes more than a year after the horticulture department planned to acquire more land to enable the lateral growth of the tree.

A Twitter user with the name Narahasri Rao posted photographs of the place asking if it was a good idea considering concrete restricts the flow of water and nutrients for the tree.

Soon, users on social media weighed in on what they think about the idea. While most said this was a terrible idea and would affect the growth of the tree, some offered alternatives such as replacing concrete with interlocking paver blocks that would allow water to seep in. Meanwhile, one user said this was not a reason to worry as this tree has multiple roots. "It will be having access to water and nutrients deep inside earth beyond your imagination," tweeted the user @drsandeepkc.

Speaking to CNN News18, the joint director of the department of horticulture said this has already been discussed with the tourism department and the plans would be stopped. "The plan was to build a four-feet-wide walkway with stone curbs on the sides, filled with soil and topped with concrete. We have discussed with the tourism department and have asked to stop work," said M Jagadish. He added that the plan to acquire land was still on as there are roads and private properties around which the tree stands.

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