Every monsoon season we witness trees falling all over the world, to the fast and strong winds, sometimes leading to fatal accidents, like it was in “namma Bengaluru” in the recent past. As usual everyone including activists, government officials, and citizens make noise on the incident from their perspective either blaming the govt agencies for the lapse or citizens for their carelessness.
It is famously said that those who sweat more in peace will bleed less in war. In case of tree maintenance, in urban areas, it can be easily said that we lack both the direction and efforts to ensure that avenue trees are taken care of for their healthy and safe growth throughout the year. Despite the existence of forest department and their cells in every urban local body neither are there inspections to identify the problematic trees with an intention to solve the problems nor any effort to make sure their roots are grown in a healthy manner. Only during the crisis we see some reaction which is forgotten once the monsoon season is over and apathy sets in till the next monsoon and next tragedy. Empty words and promises fly thick and fast with no or little action about the safety or health of the trees.
It is highly desirable that the officials of forest department conduct routine checks to ensure that the trees are allowed sufficient breathing space at the root level by removing the concrete or cemented potions and provide adequate protection for their healthy growth so that they do have the required strength to withstand the strong monsoon winds. It is imperative that tree pruning to be carried out in a very scientific manner to ensure the trees maintain their balance so that they don’t fall prey to the strong winds. Inspite of many existing laws on the subject implementation and execution of the same is much to be desired.
Is it not an irony that on one side the forest department plants trees and on the other side the ESCOMs all over the country cut the trees in the most unscientific manner and at times in a barbaric fashion? If we need the green cover in our urban areas this cruel practice of tree chopping must cease. It is very surprising that many of our educated class fail to plant two trees in front of their houses, even though it is mandated by a law that house building plans are sanctioned only with the strict condition that the owner of the house should plant two trees at least. But the same owners do not even hesitate to cut a hapless healthy tree if it comes in way of his/her planning of the building. Our indifference towards tree cutting must be curbed and each and every one of us should start questioning the habit of indiscriminate tree cutting which should not be the domain of few activists alone. Time is ripe to join hands with such activists and strengthen their hands to save our neighborhood. It is paramount that our mindset towards trees must change on war footing for a better and greener surroundings with healthy and strong trees that take care of us.
I love my India