Toppling bushes flip give attention to topsy-turvy inexperienced coverage

KOLKATA: The in Tuesday’s has raised concerns about the health of the city’s and its vulnerability to extreme events like and that are becoming more frequent.
Some trees will topple when a squall drives into a city at 98kmph. Trees with very large canopies can act like a sail in the wind, causing the entire tree to get uprooted.

“Such a huge loss of green cover is alarming. We have in the past seen trees being lost to storms even with wind speed of 40-50kmph. It indicates something is seriously wrong with the health of trees in the city,” said green activist Bonani Kakkar.

The activist cites multiple factors for the trees becoming vulnerable. They range from random selection of tree species to improper planting, unscientific pruning and concrete paving.

Trees were uprooted nearly everywhere. Dum Dum, Cossipore, APC Roy Road, Chittaranjan Avenue, Beadon Street and Chitpore in the north; Chandni Chowk, SN Banerjee Road, Red Road, Lenin Sarani, Camac Street, Park Street and Wood Street in central and Southern Avenue, Bhowanipore, Alipore, Jadavpur, Bagha Jatin, Patuli, Harish Mukherjee Road, Sarat Bose Road and EM Bypass-Anwar Shah Road connector in the south.

The problem, says horticulturist Ranjit Samanta, is the ad hoc manner in which trees are planted and then left uncared for. Once they grow, they are treated as liability by a section of civic officials and corporators. Unscientific pruning that destroys the balance of a tree only adds to its vulnerability.

“No thought is spent on choosing the right kind of trees. For instance, one should look at native species that are more resilient to our climatic conditions,” said Samanta.

Kakkar has been calling for a plantation policy where trees become an integrated part of the city’s planning and development process and are cared for as much as fancy buildings developed by the civic authority or the government.

Times View

Nature is all-powerful. But the death of so many decades-old giants raises a question: are we looking at this part of our shared heritage with the attention it deserves? Government agencies should do acomprehensive scientific survey on the health of the city‘s trees and suggest preemptive action that will protect them from nature‘s fury.

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