BENGALURU: AN estimated 300-400 trees have reportedly fallen in the city in the last three weeks following heavy rains. Tree experts say most were young and healthy species but they fell as BBMP road contractors had not left adequate space for aeration and stability of trees. Members of the High Court-appointed Tree Committee recommend that existing trees should be freed from concrete, tar and tiles and adequate space should be left for them to breathe and stand.
An assessment by the Tree Committee showed that most trees that fell were young and healthy and not diseased as the BBMP had claimed. Tree committee member and Eco Watch Director Akshay Heblikar said, “We should take immediate steps to remove asphalting around trees and create at least 3-4 feet or 8-9 feet of space, depending on the girth, so that they can absorb water and hold on to the ground.
It should be made mandatory for contractors to leave adequate space, wherever possible, when asphalting roads. You cannot have both roads and trees without planning as most roads in the city are narrow.” BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad told Express that the recommendations given by the Tree Committee will be looked into and acted upon soon.
The Recent Diaster
Many trees that had fallen in areas such as Basavanagudi, Banashankari, BTM Layout, Kengeri, Shivajinagar, Minerva Circle and Shanthinagar were young and healthy with huge girth and big canopies. Only a few were diseased. Most of them were caged in tiles and concrete and bound in spaces that could neither hold its roots nor trunk. As a result, many trees fell in the city after the heavy rains, killing three people and injuring many besides damaging property.