BENGALURU: Three days after it was alleged that the trees planted by Salumarada Thimmakka were uprooted for a road widening project, engineers from Public Works Department (PWD) have denied the claims.However, officials from revenue department are not convinced and have decided that the trees on the stretch will be counted in the presence of the legendary green activist.
Thimmakka had received Padma Shri Award from President Ram Nath Kovind in March 2019 for planting the trees and nurturing them till date. She had planted around 385 Ficus trees on the Hulikal- Kuddur highway stretch for a distance of four kilometres between 1950 and 1970. She had nurtured them and the Karnataka Forest Department, along with Karnataka Biodiversity Board, has been working to declare them as Heritage Trees.
“The PWD has undertaken road works on the stretch, for which around 50 trees have been cut. We brought the issue to the notice of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also, but haven’t received any response so far. It has been three days and no one has come to the site or met us to take up the issue,” said Umesh V, Thimmakka’s son.
However, the PWD has denied these claims. Vijay Gopal, PWD Executive Engineer, incharge of the stretch said, “They are lying, no trees were cut. I inspected the spot and saw all of them standing tall and intact.”Forest department officials said an inspection was done and while the PWD was laying the drain lines, the roots of six trees were damaged. The work has been stopped and the soil is filled back again.
However, Tashildar B G Srinivasa Prasad, who is not convinced, said that all the trees will counted in Thimakka’s presence to know the ground reality and decide the future course of action.