RAIPUR: The Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) had a perfect plan to cover the loss of green — blame rainstorm for ‘knocking down’ trees. But it forgot to factor in a meteorological centre that exposed the reckless tree chopping in the city.
The RMC is vying for good ranking in the ongoing Cleanliness Survey 2018 under the Swachh Bharat Mission. It had claimed that trees fell down at various places due to rainstorm.
“The illegal act of RMC officials was exposed by the weather report of the given day, 26 September, 2017. They said heavy rains and strong winds knocked down the trees in different places, including the Gandhi Udhyan. But on that day, two valuable trees were cut down perhaps on an oral command without any official permission,” environment enthusiast Nitin Singhvi alleged. The trees in question once stood at Gandhi Park just adjacent to the chief minister’s house.
The observations of the agromet observatory at the Raipur-based Indira Gandhi Agriculture University said there was no rain in Raipur city from September 22 to 27 last year.
Moreover, it said the wind speed was 2.7 km per hour on September 26 — the day which rainstorm ‘knocked down’ the trees at Gandhi Park.
“Another lie by the RMC zonal commissioner was his assertion that the two trees fell at children’s play area. But the images from the spot clearly showed the sliced tree stumps with roots on the ground were far away from the play area. The tree rarely fall this way owing to rain storm,” Singhvi said, demanding action be taken against those officials who “fabricated’ a story to conceal their unauthorised act.
“Usually during high-velocity winds, the old trees are toppled by getting uprooted and not from the trunk. It’s the root that keeps the tree stable and act as its anchor,” Vilas Nigam, an expert on tree conservation and plantation, said, calling the RMC’s bluff.