By M.B. Pavan Murthy
Mysore/Mysuru: While the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) is propagating greenery every other day, many saplings planted along busy roads at various spots across the city are dying, all due to the lackadaisical attitude of the very people who planted them.
Thousands of saplings are planted each year on roadsides and medians as part of the ‘Go Green’ initiative by the MCC and separate funds are allocated for this. The initiative takes wings every time a road is asphalted and lakhs of rupees are spent to procure cement pots to plant these and for them to hold water.
The tree-planting drama goes on for a month or so when dedicated water tankers from the civic body pour water to the plants every morning and evening.
Then suddenly these vehicles vanish and the plants are left to die. After planting the saplings, the medians and kerbs are usually painted and here too, money and labour is spent.
Such initiatives witness the participation of local Corporators and leaders of various political parties and it becomes a good photo op for them.
Many roads, even in the Central Business District like JLB Road, Vinoba Road, Babu Jagjivan Ram Circle, Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa Circle, DC Office Road, Jaladarshini Guest House Road, Hunsur Road, Double Road, DC’s Residence stretch, Valmiki Road Junction, and many other roads are dotted with such neglected plants. At many places even the pots are broken.
One look at the plants and people can see the apathetic attitude of some irresponsible people holding positions of power has led to this green mayhem on the roads. When the annual exercise of Swachh Survekshan happens, the ‘Go Green’ activity again picks up pace and pots are lined up on the road medians, saplings are planted, pots and kerbs are painted.
But as soon as the Swachh Survekshan evaluators, who come to rank the city’s cleanliness and beauty factor leave the city after noting down points, the saplings get no water and no one even looks at them. Ironically, the plants in question are in the surroundings of the MCC Office.
According to Forest Department officials, maintenance and watering should be taken care of by the civic body. Forest Department is only responsible for providing saplings. They do not have funds to look after them and their job ends there.
On the one hand the State Government launches many environmental activities and releases funds so that the District Administration and MCC carry out plantation drives to provide a pollution-free environment. On the other hand, thousands of grown plants have wilted on roads,” said Ramesh, a resident.
Supreetha Kumar said, “What is the use of planting saplings if you cannot nurture them. By showing sheer disregard for the upkeep of hundreds of plants, the authorities have proved that plantation drives are merely photo-ops that are done to grab media headlines while the ground reality tells a different tale.”