The falling down of fully-grown trees in Dwarka has been a regular sight for years. During rains and strong winds, such cases are seen more. However, even in the absence of any such extreme weather conditions, the trees in Dwarka can be seen falling. There are many opinions and presumed causes that are making the trees in Dwarka vulnerable.
As observed by experts and environmental activists, these trees also often fall owing to their wrong plantation. People from the department of horticulture DDA themselves say that these trees fall because of wrong planning while planting them. The experts also say that the trees uprooted were vulnerable because they were not suited to the climatic conditions of the region. Mostly, Sheesham trees and other such species are badly damaged by rain wind pests and lack of space in their roots.
Diwan Singh, an environment activist working in the area for environment conservation says, “Planting Sheesham trees was a wrong choice as Sheesham cannot survive in this soil and climate in Dwarka. There are termites in this area that make such trees weak and finally lead to their death. At present, there are thousands of termite-affected trees in Dwarka and such trees are prone to falling. On the other hand, the Ficus species like Baniyan, Peepal, Pilkhan, and Neem were found least affected because of their ability to sustain in the climate of the area.”
Experts say that the trees which have fallen were either plated in the wrong place or their roots were blocked by concrete. Such trees, despite being fully grown, fall down because they were not planted in a spot where their roots could go deeper and stronger.
PK Datta of Sector 19, an environment enthusiast working on saving the environment says, “On observing the scene closely, I concluded that the trees which were planted on infirm grounds like corners of the pedestrian pathways, the brim of the water drains, were the selective victims of the storm.”
Also, there are several trees in well-grown state that too become the victim of rain and speedy wind due to violation of Tree Act by making their roots concretized. By doing so, the agencies left no place for their roots to breathe and also no source of water to reach the roots.
An environment activist and resident of Sector 16, B Ramesh Mumukshu, recalled the devastating effect of thunderstorms on trees in 2014 in Delhi. He mentioned the initiatives taken by the administration after that incident. He says, “Delhi High Court has also asked for an undertaking in writing from all the civic agencies that space around trees should be concrete-free. Earlier, National Green Tribunal also issued notices to 14 authorities directing them to remove all boards, nails and advertisements from the trees and to de-concretise them. The Delhi High Court in 2007 and 2010 had also issued similar notices to follow the urban greening guidelines. According to Urban Greening Guidelines 2014, during the execution of civic work, tree roots should be protected and topsoil should be preserved. Still, violation of norms is being done and this is resulting in making the trees weaker and causing their fall. This has been proven every time there is a storm in Dwarka and we see trees falling down."