Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and the city corporation should factor in tree-planting around residential and office buildings; and no building plan should be sanctioned without compliance,suggests Mr Raghotham Rao, retired civil engineer, former Lions Club president and social worker. Lions Clubs include urban tree-planting as part of their ongoing service activities. As someone who has been president of a local Lions club, Mr. Rao acknowledges the help received from the forest and horticulture departments in his club’s service activities.
He suggests honge and kas-kas are conducive to roadside planting in residential areas. In front of his house at Vidyaranyapuram Mr Rao has a honge that he planted seven years back. He devotes to it the care and affection he gives to his grandchild; his roadside honge gets periodical check-up and ‘hair-cut’ by expert tree-pruner Mr Hyder Ali Khan. The roadside honge owes its growth to Mrs Gowri Rao, who nursed it during the plant's initial year, as work and social activities often took Mr Rao away from Mysore. But then Gowri, being daughter of a forest official, has natural affinity to trees.
Mr Khan’s expert hands have nursed the rows of trees in front of the Nanjangud temple, Mysore’s Idgha Maidan, at Shantala Talkies and several other places. If he is not more widely known, it is because Mr Khan is not in on promotional trappings of the digital era – he doesn’t run a website; doesn't even have an e-mail ID. Mr Khan's cell number – 98451 59067.
Mr Rao, who has spent much of his working life at irrigation reservoir sites all over Karnataka, is familiar with tree-planting, which is taken up by the department on canal embankments and staff townships near dams and reservoirs. He recalled the guidance they got from a retired forest department officer, Mr Ellappa Reddy, who used to visit dam sites and canals and recommend the types of trees suited to their soil and site conditions. Mr Rao, who has been inspired by Salumara Thimmakka, never tires of relating her quote - Manegondu mara, wardinge ondu vana.
Mr Rao's contact mail: firstname.lastname@example.org