Yesterday some gloomy images of huge trees been cut at Vaccine Depot area were shared.
The cutting seems merciless and a few local residents said a few trees have been poisoned so that they dry and then they will be chopped.
Belagavi Smart City MD Sashidhar Kurer said to the Sakal that he is not aware of any such cutting of trees, and he would know about it if it was been done under the Smart city.
Forest officials are also not sure who is cutting it?
Then who is cutting such huge big trees at the Vaccine Depot?
Any proposal for a “Green Belagavi” should not start by slaughtering trees in a Belagavi that has lost thousands of trees recently in ‘road widening’.
Some where in August 2019, we had posted No Trees would be cut at Vaccine depot for development of Heritage park
We have got the details about the development of the Heritage Park at Vaccine Depot by Belagavi smart city limited.
The major takeaway is No existing trees are planned to be cut in this project and all the construction is from the natural materials.
So whatever it is the cutting of the trees has to be linked with the development project to be undertaken at the Vaccine depot or is it that the Timber Mafia is so active that they could just chop any tree around.
The British established three extensive ‘Vaccine Institutes’ in the country – in Kasauli, Bareilly and in Belagavi. Belagavi’s ‘Vaccine Depot’, established in 1904 by Capt. F.H.G. Hutchinson, began contributing freeze dried anti-smallpox vaccine almost from its inception, building up to 47 million doses in 1977, when the pitched battle that India fought against smallpox was finally won. The battle built up to a crescendo after 1975, and the Moscow trained Dr. Prasanna Kumar and his team worked the Vaccine Institute all 24 hours to produce vaccine to full capacity. Belagavi produced more than a third of the vaccine that the country needed to win this crucial battle.
After the gladiators left the battlefield; when the war was won, ‘Vaccine Depot’ fell silent – – – and the vultures moved in. The ever hungry property vultures hoped to devour huge chunks of this 156.10 acres of prime land located close to the heart of Tilakwadi. The stakes were enormous – calculations were made in hundreds of crores.
One ingenious plan envisaged the location of the ‘Suvarna Soudha’ within the precincts of the existing Vaccine Depot with a compound wall measuring 3.396 kilometres all around it within which hotels, hostels, residential quarters, etc could be developed. This plan was stymied only because the access roads through Tilakwadi are too narrow to allow motorcades of VIP’s to pass continuously for a whole month. The residential area that has developed all around this Institute would be completely paralysed for a whole month.
Wisdom finally prevailed and the State Government then proposed to ulitlize the entire land as a Botanical Garden and Heritage Park – passing a Government Resolution AKUKA 84 CGM 2009 dated 6th of July 2009 which specifically reiterated the integrity of the entire Park. Planning of this Park was handed over to BUDA, which in turn consulted IDEC, which came up with an Inception Report which revealed a confused approach to developing this park within the Government Order.
The city of Belagavi provides a very gloomy example of over-densification. From the statue of Rani Chennamma in the north to the southern end of Shahapur and from the CBT in the east to Bogarves in the West there are only a handful of really big trees that can purify the air, converting dangerous carbon gases into oxygen. The tiny parks in between have only ornamental trees.
The city survives because of four lungs – the Fort, the Vaccine Depot, the Camp area and the Race Course. These four are the ‘oxygen factories’ of the city. Three of them survive because they are in Cantonment – and under the control of the Central Government.
‘Vaccine Depot’, to the people of Belagavi is the sacred ground, the ‘karma bhoomi’, where the battle, against smallpox was fought.
There are some places in all major cities of the world, where there are only trees, water bodies, waterfalls, wildflowers and birds – to which the people go after a week of hard labour.
Twenty years from now, the people of Belagavi will yearn for some space free of smoke, dust and concrete structures.
Will we have collectively destroyed Vaccine Depot by then – by inaction, silence, fear ?
Will the people of Belagavi, in 2013 show what mettle they are made of?
Come, ‘Vaccine Depot’ is calling.
Development Work at Vaccine Depot Planned:
Phase-1 Works: Construction of Two Check weirs for impounding stormwater for rainwater harvesting and irrigation for plants and trees.
Check weir dam at Vaccine Depot
Check weir dam at Vaccine Depot
Phase-2 Works: Development of Park.
Salient features of Heritage Park phase 2 :-
1. Pathway 4m Wide: Pathway is made of 4m width having GSB, Murrum soil and Sand Stone Masonry kerb on the sides are considered. (eco-friendly materials used)
2. Toilets: Toilets are constructed for the convenience of morning walkers.
3. Seating pavilions/Gazebos: Seating pavilions/Gazebos are planned at 6 places along the 2.5 Km Pathway for the convenience of the walkers and Seniors citizens. It will act as in between breaks and exercise places.
4. Food Kiosks: Food kiosks are planned for young crowd and children.
5. Parking space: Constructed with grass pavers that allow stormwater to soak. Parking spaces are designed for the convenience of walkers. A designated parking space will be created for the safety of vehicles of visitors to the park and avoid traffic.
6. Open-air theatre: Open Air Theater planned to provide space for children, adults, and senior citizens to organize a small gathering or art performances, classes. Social interaction center.
7. Rashivan: Rashivan is a landscape area that will house plants of various native species. Plantation will be taken in open spaces and there is a proposal of planting about 5000 plants of native variety plants.
8. Navagraha court: Garden with pathways created for the visually appealing area with plants and shrubs of local native variety.
9. Herbal Garden: Small Plantation of shrubs and plants of Herbal and Medicinal properties.