If cutting down trees in the name of development has been one of the reasons for Bangalore losing its greenery, heavy rains and strong winds have been another. According to officials, the city has lost more number of trees, this year, due to heavy rains than authorised felling.
Bangalore is sectioned into north and south zones with each zone further divided into four sub-divisions. Speaking about South Zone, tree officer Ranganath Swamy said, “Heavy rainfall has caused approximately 40-45 trees to fall in the south zone. Branches of over 150 trees had to be trimmed as they were causing inconveniences to the residents. We have had higher number of trees falling in south and west zones.”
The south is divided into Rajarajeshwari, south zone, Bommanahalli and west zone, while North comprises Dasarahalli, Mahadevpura, east zone and Yelahanka.
C V Raman Nagar, Pulakeshinagar, Sanjay Nagar and Shivajinagar which fall under the north zone have also witnessed higher number of trees falling this year.
This short life span of trees is being cited as a reason for Bangalore’s reducing green cover, by officials. Says Venkat Reddy, tree officer of North Zone, “In the early 1980s, in an effort to make Bangalore a beautiful garden city, authorities planted several saplings which grow fast but have short life spans like the Gulmohar. As the years passed, the roots of these trees turned weak. Also, the roots were shallow. Conditions worsened with concretisation and asphalting of roads due to which water did not percolate deep enough to nourish the roots.”
Officers also says that digging of the roads for laying cable wires, drainage pipes etc, ever so often, has added in reducing the strength of the trees’ roots.
With three teams working for the southern division and five teams for north, the officers say that during an emergency, it gets difficult to clear pathways in time due to lack of staff. Ranganath Swamy adds, “We have requested higher authorities to provide us with three more teams.”
If a tree has fallen in your vicinity or residence, contact tree officers of North or South division via letters addressed to BBMP southern zone office, Jayanagar 2nd block, close to Ashoka pillar or BBMP Northern zone office, 17th floor, Utility building. In case of an emergency, one can also call 22485317 for North Zone or 2657 8423 for South zone.