The gusty winds uprooted hundreds of well-grown trees during the recent thunderstorms in the city. A large number of falling trees forced people to wonder whether there are other reasons beyond the thunderstorms.
The environment specialists said that lack of proper planning and nurturing of trees have made trees more vulnerable to natural calamities such as thunderstorms. People found a pattern in falling of trees. It was mostly the “Sheesham” trees which fell during the storm.
An environmental activist, Diwan Singh, said to City Spidey, “Most of the tress, which was affected by termites, was the “Sheesham" trees. It was a wrong decision to plant “Sheesham” trees in the area as the soil and climate are not conducive to it. Worms and termites are in abundance in Dwarka’s soil. Trees get weaker when it is affected by termites and even a mild storm can uproot them.”
"On the other hand, the Ficus species like Banyan, Peepal, Pilkhan, Neem etc were found least affected in the thunderstorm because of their sustainability in the climate of the area. These species are least vulnerable to the parasites and the thunderstorm. So, DDA should think seriously to promote plantation of such type of trees,” said Singh.
Experts said that those trees were also affected badly which were either planted at the wrong place or were restricted at the roots by concrete. Such trees despite in well-grown state fell down because they were not planted in a place where their roots could go deeper and the stems could grow in proper shape.
PK Datta, a resident of Sector-19, said, “After observing the scene closely, I was forced to admit that the trees which were planted on the infirm ground, corners of the pedestrian pathways, the brim of the water drains, were most affected by the storm.
Moreover, many trees in the well-grown state became the victim of the storm due to a violation of Tree Act by making their roots concretised. By doing so, the agencies left no place for their roots to grow and also there was lack of the source of water at the roots.
B Ramesh Mumukshu, a resident of Sector-16, recalled the devastating effect of the thunderstorm on trees in 2014 in Delhi. He mentioned the initiatives taken by the administration after that incident.
Mumukshu said, “Delhi High Court had asked for an undertaking in writing from all the civic agencies that space around trees should be made 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 had also issued similar notices to follow the urban greening guidelines in 2007 and 2010. According to urban greening guidelines 2014, tree roots should be protected and topsoil should be preserved during the civic work,” Mumukshu said.
“Still the violation of norms is being done and this is resulting in making the trees weaker and causing their fall. This was proved by the storm in Dwarka recently,” added Mumukshu.