LetterFromBangalore

Mini-forests take root amid Indian city's concrete jungle

People in Bangalore are fighting to prevent trees from being cut down

A two-year-old 0.4ha forest near the Bangalore airport is a surprising, cool relief in a sea of concrete. Efforts have been growing in the Indian city to create urban forests, to offset the effects of expanding urbanisation. ST PHOTO: ROHINI MOHAN
Volunteers planting saplings in a railway department wasteland in Bangalore’s outskirts in 2018.PHOTOS: SAYTREES, ROHINI MOHAN
Housewife Varalakshmi Ravichandran, 50, a resident of Manyata Residency, overlooking a mini-forest that residents, together with SayTrees, a Bangalore non-profit organisation, built.PHOTOS: SAYTREES, ROHINI MOHAN

BANGALORE • Returning to my home town, Bangalore, in 2013 after years away, I took to reading the city pages of the newspaper like I was watching a horror movie. One eye shut tight in fear, ready to bolt, my heart pounding. Every few weeks, as if possessed, the city corporation was hacking down 100-year-old raintrees and slicing away green lungs.

I was not paranoid.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2020, with the headline 'Mini-forests take root amid Indian city's concrete jungle'. Print Edition | Subscribe