BANGALORE: On February 5, a biker lost his life after a tree fell on him at Sanjayanagar. The incident also injured three more persons, damaging five vehicles. Last year, similar incidents had occurred near Mayo Hall, where a tree crashed on five moving vehicles on July 4. As per the estimates given by Bruhat Banagalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials, about 493 tress fell between April 2010 and March 2011. The recent incident has posed serious concern on the management of trees by the BBMP. City Express takes a detailed look at the precautionary measures undertaken by the BBMP officials.
The Deputy Conservator of Forests of BBMP, M Krisnhnappa said, “We had already taken up the task of examining old trees, but such incidents are difficult to predict. We are checking the trees in the city and when branches are found vulnerable, we trim them. In many instances, there may be a diseased tree, in which case, we provide the necessary treatment.” On the continuous instances of trees falling in the city, he said, “Mechanical imbalance results in uprooting. Old tress of about 100 years or more needs to checked on regular intervals. There are trees which are used as a religious place and chopping the branches of such trees sometimes may result in conflict. We go through the formal procedure of taking permission of the owner. Recently, I took the consent of the owners of Ganesh temple near Mysore Bank at Majestic to trim the branches of the tree, where they have religious sentiments attached to it.” He urged the public to inform of any trees which seem vulnerable and added, “Although we do not have any help line, people can directly inform us over the phone. We will verify the information and then work on it.” He also added that they have been planting saplings to balance the ecology.
Road widening and cementing of pavements are causing trees to fall. Yelapa Reddy, an environmentalist said, “We need to remember, trees are living organisms, as human beings are. A human being needs the right amount of protein and vitamins to be healthy and similarly a tree requires sufficient supply of water for its strength. Today, the trees are not getting a single drop of water. Due to lack of water circulation, the root system gives way. This is called dehydration, a physiological drought in trees and it can be maintained only in by proper urban tree management, where rain water floats through the stem and canopy is designed to trap the rain water. There must be adequate surface for the roots to spread, grow and absorb the water. Hence, while carrying out developmental works, the authorities should provide sufficient space for the roots to spread, in order to maintain its strength.”