ForesterNeginhal, RIP

S.G.Neginhal (IFS reitred) who fell a victim to Covid-19 at the age of 92 on Sunday May 2, was a friend in the 1980’s who I lost touch with. I met him when some girls of a girls college nearby    protested when a huge banyan tree, which still provides shade to bus travelers at a stop at the  Malleswaram 18th cross and SankeyRoad junction was to be cut down. Editing a newspaper in that city, I took up the matter with him — the Conservator of Social Forestry in the state. He   swung into action to save that tree from the axe. Later when he took a Press party to some forestry projects, he diverted the route on way back and took us to a famous  sanctuary at Ranganathitoo for birds. Unlike many officers of his rank, he used to talk to rural people who told him,at a wayside teashop, about Kokkirebellur village. In Kannada  KokkIre means bird and being a nature lover, he went there to find a lake and an island (thittu) in it where storks from Siberia and places far away come every year to breed. Migratory birds are of great interest to wildlife lovers. As a forest officer he took steps immediately to start a sanctuary there to protect the birds even before the government sanctioned his proposal for such sactuary.
This shows that red tape and long delays in action by administration need not thwart a committed officer. He was backed by another such officer, Chief Conservator Pushpakumar. They made Bangalore India’s greenest city. The tree-lined streets and boulevards in the city are a tribute to how he went from house to house tto urge people to plant  trees and get involved in caring for them. He headed a task force for greening the city, set up by (then) CM, Gundu Rao.
Neginhal was well-versed in urban forestry,  trees, wildlife and biodiversity. His popular books are City Trees, Forest Trees of Western Ghats, Golden Trees and Urban Forestry, Sanctuaries and Wildlife of Karnataka. He has published research papers and popular articles in many publications.  He was also  a nature and wildlife photographer.  A forester with a flair for writing is very rare.If not people, at least a banyan tree and Ranganthittu birds shed tears for the man who made the city green.

It is only rarely that a Forester becomes so famous that tribuTes are paid to him on his death. Men (or women) of the jungle many of them fit the desctption of ‘junglee’

Neginhal, who fell a victim to Covid-19, at the age of 92 on Sunday May 2, was a friend in the 1980’s who I lost touch with. I met him when some girls of a girls    college nearby protested when a huge banyan tree, which provides shade to travelers at a bus stop at the  Malleswaram 18th cross and Sankey Road junction was about to be felled. Editing a newspaper in that city I took up the matter with him as the Conservator of Social Forestry in the state. He   swung into action to save that tree from the axe. Later when he took a Press party to some forestry projects, he diverted the route on way back and took us to a famous  sanctuary at Ranganathitoo for birds.Unlike many officers of his rank, he used to talk to rural people who told him, at a wayside tea stop, about    Kokkirebellur village. In Kannada  KokkIre means bird and being a nature lover, he went there to find a lake and an island (thittu) in it where storks from Siberia and places far away come every year to breed. Migratory birds are a field of great interest to wildlife lovers. As a forest officer he took steps immediately to start a sanctuary there to protect the birds even before the government sanctioned his proposal for such sactuary.
  • This shows that red tape and long delays in action of the administration need not thwart a committed officer. He was backed by another such, Chief Conservator Pushpakumar. They made Bangalore India’s greenest city. The tree-lined boulvards and streets in the city are a tribute to how he went from house to house urging people to plant  trees and get care for them. He headed a task force for greening the city, set up by R. Gundu Rao (the CM).

Neginhal was well-versed in urban forestry,  trees, wildlife and biodiversity. His popular books are City Trees, Forest Trees of Western Ghats, Golden Trees and Urban Forestry, Sanctuaries and Wildlife of Karnataka. He has published research papers and popular articles in many publications.  He was also  a naature and wildlife photographer.  A forester with a flair for writing is very rare.If not people, at least a banyan tree and Ranganthittu birds shed tears for the man who made the city green. RIP friend.

Published by

B. Someswar Rao

60 years of journalism, from the age of 16, and two books later, life has so much more to offer, there is no looking back. Not yet. Unstoppable after 70 is a simple expression of my thoughts, my triumphs, my failures and everything that makes this journey incredible. My books: - A TOWN CALLED PENURY- the changing culture of Indian journalism - JOURNALISM - Ethics, Codes, Laws Working on: - 'THE OUTHOUSE ON THE FIRST FLOOR - Coming of (Old)Age in India'

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