The Landmark Pipal Tree at Karamchand Chowk

There happens hardly any significent activity in Jabalpur that is worth a blog and there is no point commenting on the political tamasha, social bickerings and rantings on development. So after a significent time, here is a small but touching event which is surely worth recording.

We have been raising our concern on apnaJabalpur, for protecting the environment, saving water, resources and hertiage. Almost everybody agrees that development is happening at a very slow pace in Jabalpur and is well below public expectations. However, there is a way development has to take place. And this is a significent difference.

Anybody who is or has been in Jabalpur cannot faign non acquaintence to the old pipal tree at Karamchand Chowk, a mute spectator to every commuter at one of the most busy and congested crossings of Jabalpur. This old pipal tree has been standing there since decades silently watching over the city.

And suddenly, it was found that the tree is an obstacle to the progress of apnaJabalpur. Apparently, the road needs to be expanded and the old tree is the only obstacle in the road to prosperity. We all want development and all obastacles including trees must be removed, some voices said. And there the question arose: what kind of development and at what cost do we need? Should we butcher the trees and bury the ‘mitti’ with concrete to acclaim progress?

It is a false notion of development akin to a rising share market. And here is where again, apnaJabalpur chose to be different from the other progressing cities. The administration took a commendable decision to relocate the tree instead of committing genocide not just of the tree, but our future generations.

The entire exercise took less than two days and was conducted under expert supervision. The tree is now replanted at ShreeNath ki Tallaya and entire city wishes a long life for the tree. This clean, green and responsible approach to development is largely absent in India and apnaJabalpur has set an example that the cost of development is reduced by being eco-friendly.

The otherwise indifferent and callous government machinary worked in remarkable cohesion and members of various departments including, municipal corporation, traffic, electricity, scientists, mayor, commissioner, etc. together ensured that Jabalpur will be giving a better future to its children than any other ‘rich’ city.

SORRY UPDATE: In a tragic development reported in local newspapers , the re-planted trees could not be saved due to old age. Still, the effort and approach is commendable.