Saturday, September 26, 2009

What we refuse to destroy

There's a quote by John Sawhill that I happen to strongly agree with "In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy." By that standard, I think we deserved a pat on the back today. The High Court of Karnataka has directed the BBMP not to fell trees in GKVK. To give a background on the story, the BBMP had proposed to run a 100ft road through the GKVK campus to provide a shorter link for commuters traveling from Yeshwantpur to the new airport.

I had always heard about the GKVK "forest" from the folks in the birdwatching circles. Today I decided to pay a small visit. In the single hour that I was there I saw at least 20 species of birds without having to strain myself. I managed to capture a few with my camera too. I can also testify that it's no exaggeration to call the campus a forest! It would have been inexcusable to lose it. The road would not only have destroyed a lot of trees, fragmented pristine habitats, but probably would have sparked off a wave of commercialization in an area that's surprisingly untouched.

The forest is safe for now, probably because the Judges' colony is right adjacent to it. However, admittedly, the traffic situation that the BBMP is trying to address is terrible too. In a few years time, when we'll have a hundred thousand more cars on the streets of Bangalore, our collective patience will run out. Eventually our hunger for better infrastructure and development will prevail. Before that happens, I hope I have the time to photograph all the bird species there.
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