Ramachandra Appari, a 38-year-old man from Hyderabad, has found a way to ensure development does not come at the cost of the environment. Ramachandra, who has been running a company named Green Morning Horticulture Services Private Limited, believes it is better to relocate trees rather than felling them.
The age-old process of translocation involves uprooting trees and re-planting them in a different place. This process dates back to 2000 BC and was practised in Egypt. It has recently attracted attention again with growing concerns over environmental issues.
The fast disappearing green cover compelled Ramachandra to think, and he realised he was out of place at a private sector bank. Dissatisfied as his background was in the agriculture sector, having done his masters in Agriculture and MBA in agribusiness, he told The News Minute,
Eight years of agriculture studies and then getting into something different didn't feel right. I left that job for my passion.
Ramachandra had this thought when he noticed many trees being cut down to widen the roads, while travelling on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway back in 2009. He then began his research on an alternate option for the same. His research mainly revolved around translocation, and a friend told him about its widespread adoption in Australia. This gave him the idea to set up Green Morning Horticulture Services Private Limited to help with translocation and landscaping.
Understanding the differences in the terrains of India and Australia, he realised that the same machines could not be used in both the places given the hard soil here. Taking care of all the prerequisites, he began his work with the Hyderabad Metro Rail project. He pitched his proposal and it was accepted. He was able to save 800 trees during this project and the company and its work received much-needed recognition. Now, their work has expanded to cities like Bengaluru, Vizag, and New Delhi.
While speaking about the prices, which depend mainly on the number of trees, sizes, and the distances to which they have to be moved, Ramachandra tells The News Minute,
If the number of trees is more, the charge decreases considerably. Charges start at around Rs 6,000, but we have also charged Rs 1.5 lakh for one order.
The process involves digging the earth at least 4 feet in diameter and depth around its roots and then treating the roots with chemicals which help in transportation. This process is tiresome and requires a lot of care and attention. Elaborating on this practice and its process, Ramachandra tells The Better India,
In India, apart from Hyderabad, tree translocation is being done in certain parts of Gujarat and in Bangalore too. Trees like gulmohar, neem, jamun, mango, pepul, and other ficus species can be easily translocated. To date, our company has translocated some 5,000 trees and we can easily say that we have achieved a success rate of 80 percent. The process is slow and takes time and what makes it expensive is basically the need to hire earth movers, cranes, and trailers.
Planting new trees is a method we all know will improve the green cover and should definitely be adopted. But in cases where it is not possible, is the practice of translocation not a great alternative?