Tribune News Service
Dushyant Singh Pundir
Chandigarh, July 11th
It took a college student’s life to discover that two historic trees in the city have survived and are “heavily termite infested.” The historic trees that have stood tall in the heart of the city, Sectors 19 and 23, for more than a century are now being felled as recommended by a committee formed by the administration.
On the morning of July 8, a 250-year-old bell tree split and fell on students at Carmel Convent School, Sector 9-B. The incident claimed the life of 16-year-old Heerakshi. Eighteen students and a bus attendant were injured. The bus attendant fights for his life with the PGI.
People take part in the prayer ceremony of Heerakshi. Nitin Mittal
The peepal tree was also severely “termite infested,” which had weakened the trunk of the tree. Environmentalist LR Budaniya said trees should be treated with termiticides at least once a year.
After the incident, the administration directed its team to conduct a full investigation of all “dead and dry trees” and trees that pose a threat to human life and property.
According to a December 21, 2017 UT administration executive order, it had reported 31 trees as “heritage trees” due to the risk of losing such large trees for various reasons and the need to protect them, educate the community about the Importance of the historic trees and protection of the city’s abundance of trees.
Workers prune a giant tree near Tribune Chowk Monday night.
Administrator’s adviser Dharam Pal said the remaining 30 historic trees were thoroughly assessed for their health, strength and susceptibility to uprooting by the committee, which was made up of officials from the engineering department, the city government’s horticulture department and the forest department. The committee has also recommended pruning of three historic trees, including the one at Lake Sukhna. “In order to avoid unwanted incidents, the administration will remove all dead/dry trees,that pose a threat to life and property within a week,” said Dharam Pal.
counteraxe: mango tree 150 years old; at Vatika School for Deaf and Dumb Children, Sector 19-B
The consultant instructed the departments concerned that pruning trees or their termite treatment wherever necessary should be carried out with the highest priority, with a particular focus on schools.
Six teams have now been deployed to survey 211 schools. They conducted a detailed survey of 201 schools and other educational institutions. The teams are expected to submit their report on Tuesday.
counteraxe: bell tree 150 years old; at the entrance to Government Nursery, Sector 23-C
- 1,634dead/dry trees cut down in 5 years in the city
- 180 trees granted permission to fell or remove in the last two months
termite the deeper cause
Termite makes a tree hollow. The weakened trunk cannot support the weight of the tree. Eventually the tree dies. In storms and heavy rain, heavy branches can fall off because the trunk is hollow.
What admin says
In order to avoid any incident, the management will remove all dead/dried trees that pose a threat to life and property within a week. — Dharam Pal, Advisor