Noida Authority has decided not to plant peepal trees along roads to discourage people from thronging around them for worship.
“It is common to see people gather around peepal trees and start worshipping the small temples and idols commonly seen placed near the trees,” said Omvir Singh, director of horticulture department, Noida Authority. “The small temples attract a number of devotees, causing traffic snarls on adjacent roads. We will restrict planting them only to parks and green belts. The focus will be mainly on fruit-bearing trees or ones that provide shade, such as neem, imli and mango.”
Rajeev Garg, a resident of Sector 27, lauded the authority's decision, saying that presence of peepal trees also affects construction work in the areas around them.
Another segment of the society includes people like Indu Tyagi of Sector 39, who said that they will continue to worship the sacred tree wherever it was, whether beside a road or in a green belt.
A peepal tree adjacent to a road near DPS School, Sector 30, used to attract scores of devotees, who came to worship a small idol placed under the tree. The authority had no option but to cut down the tree to a stump to ease the traffic congestion. People, however, continue to come and worship the tree's stump, though only on Thursdays.