Maintenance of saplings an uphill task
GURUGRAM: To curb the deadly pollution, the Gururgam authorities have planted thousands of new saplings but all of them got destroyed within days. Maintenance of the new saplings is proving to be an uphill task. Most of the new saplings that were planted along the National Highway-8 and Gol Course road recently were damaged by the people. The problem of maintaining the greenery for long has been a major challenge amid reports of massive tree felling in the city.
A recent survey by the forest department revealed that more than 1,500 trees in the city have dried and are also on the verge of death. The trees that have been surveyed come under the areas managed by the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Haryana state industrial and infrastructure development corporation (HSIIDC).
According to environment experts, poor techniques adopted in the growing of the new saplings, exploitation of the trees in form of drillings, poor groundwater recharging facilities have deteriorated the condition of surviving trees in the city. They further pointed out that how exploitations in the form of drilling nails inside the trees resulted in oozing out of the sap, causing infections and subsequent death of the trees.
Often the impact of the weak root structure of trees is felt during the monsoon season or during dust storms when most of the trees are unable to withstand the wind pressure and fall off. Professor Rommel Mehta, Head of Department of Landscape from the School of Planning and Architecture says, “The weakness of the trees can also be visible from the fact that today most of the trees in urban areas of the national capital region are not attaining their standard height.”
He further adds, “Today, the soft surfaces in the city are gradually decreasing and the water that is expected to seep inside the ground is flowing off, this affects the roots of the trees. An average lifespan of the tree should be about 50-100 years, however, today trees in the city are able to survive barely for 15 years.”
“I really think we do not understand the significance of trees especially in the context of Gurugram where the groundwater reserves have receded to extremely low levels. While thousands of trees are being felled for development, I feel the urban planners have deliberately made sure that those which are surviving are also not taken care of so that ultimately they can also be chopped off,” said Ranjana Malik, a city resident.
With dwindling green cover in the city becoming a major challenge, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) was contemplating formation of a data bank to count the number of trees in the city. There were also plans to ensure strict vigilance on the preservation of green cover. Yet, the plans have not been executed on a comprehensive scale.