Pre-monsoon tree damage a big concern, say Bengaluru activists

During the first spell from May 7 to 8, Bengaluru witnessed the felling of 116 trees, though environmentalists said the number is underreported.
Following Sunday’s rain, an uprooted tree lies on the footpath, after breaking through the fence into Cubbon Park, as traffic whizzes by on the busy Queens Road, in Bengaluru on Monday
Following Sunday’s rain, an uprooted tree lies on the footpath, after breaking through the fence into Cubbon Park, as traffic whizzes by on the busy Queens Road, in Bengaluru on MondayPhoto | Hewin Byju, EPS

BENGALURU: Over 500 trees have been uprooted in Bengaluru since the city witnessed showers in the days gone by. Environmentalists said the number could be much higher in the coming months as the monsoon approaches. For over a month, the city sporadically experienced gusty winds and high rainfall, damaging not just homes and electric poles, but also trees. Experts said in a growing city like Bengaluru, concretisation has had a major impact on the trees along the footpaths and roads.

On Sunday alone, the BBMP control room said it received 65 calls regarding entire trees having uprooted, especially in the South Zone. In total, 265 trees were damaged. During the first spell from May 7 to 8, Bengaluru witnessed the felling of 116 trees, though environmentalists said the number is underreported.

Speaking to TNIE, Vijay Nishanth, an environmentalist, said, “If you look at the photos and see how the trees fell, you will notice that they are getting uprooted from the bottom, alongside roads or footpaths. The trees have been blocked by tiles or cement, and hence, are unable to stabilise themselves in gusty winds. We have been asking the BBMP to conduct the tree census, which will be of tremendous help during the monsoon. We will know the species, the health of the tree, and based on the diseases, they can be segregated, aiding in preventing life-threatening situations.” He added that over the next few months, more such cases are expected as the “management of trees” by the local body has been poor.

Another activist, DT Devare, trustee, Bangalore Environment Trust (BET), explained that the canopy management team of the BBMP forest department has done a hasty job preparing for the monsoon. “This is also a result of improper pruning by BESCOM.

They have cut branches unscientifically, and with little wind, trees are falling. Many of the trees are also hollow from inside and nobody has been warned about them.” Suggesting a few measures to curb the current depleting green cover of the city, he called up citizens to get involved.

“Many citizen groups are aware of the vulnerable trees around their areas, they need to be roped in to warn the officials before adversity occurs,” Devare said. Other solutions such as looking at measures to replant some of the trees, scientific planting, regular checks and department coordination can go a long way too.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com