Contractors not interested in purchasing it; they complain that it is of poor quality.
Meghna Das Chowdhury
The Karnataka horticulture department, which takes care of Cubbon Park, is unable to find contractors to buy dried bamboo, which can catch fire.
The department has taken upon itself the job of cutting and clearing out the bamboo trees. An official from the department informed The Observer: “We have started clearing the dead plants and bamboo. The work is going on fast. Soon, we will get rid of it.”
The Observer found workers cutting dead bamboo into pieces to be transported out. The department plans to plant bamboo saplings after the dead trees are cleared out.
Cubbon Park, covering an area of 120 hectares, has a lot of dead flora. Some of the dried bamboo is in areas frequented by visitors, and poses a fire hazard.
Anil Kumar, a contractor who has been given the task of cutting bamboo trees, said: “We have been asked to cut and collect the bamboo and take it to the office and dispose it of there. From there, they are sending it to various places for building ladders. We have been working here for a month now. Within two weeks, our job will be done.”
Abbas Zafar, a tourist, shared: “I see a huge number of dry and dead bamboo trees here. I have come here for the first time and am surprised. Dry leaves catch fire very easily. The park authorities should do something about it.”
Sombrita Dutta, a visitor to the park, said: “I visit Cubbon Park often to take a walk. I have seen these huge bamboos standing here for months now.”
The Observer visited Bamboo Bazaar in Shivajinagar to find out why there are no takers for the dead bamboo trees. Salman Ameen, a bamboo trader, said: “The bamboo in Cubbon Park is of very bad quality and of no use. My family has been in this business from my grandfather’s time. We never bought bamboo from Cubbon Park. In fact, one will hardly find any trader here who will be ready to buy it.”
Environmentalist Sandeep Anirudhan said: “There has to be something wrong with the bamboo. I don’t see any reason why such a large number of bamboo trees are not getting any contactors. There are traders who are willing to buy bamboo for their business. I think the park is not getting a contractor that can pay the amount the department wants. If this bamboo catches fire, there will be nothing less than a forest fire.”
A report in the Bangalore Mirror said: “The department officials expected to generate some revenue from these bamboo stems and engaged a contractor six months ago but the contractor has failed to complete the job and the bamboo stems still remain in the park.”
According to a report in The Times of India, a fire broke out in Cubbon Park after flames from a nearby nursery spread to dry bamboo trees which were stacked nearby after being cleared from the park.
According to the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017, “…the definition of tree includes palms, bamboos, stumps, brush-wood, and canes. The Bill amends this definition of tree to remove the word bamboos.”