Main­te­nance of saplings an up­hill task

Millennium Post - - City - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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.

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