Rajpath’s green lungs choking | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Rajpath’s green lungs choking

In what may well be a sign of things to come for green heritage of Lutyens’ Delhi, two huge Jamun trees on the Rajpath dried up in a span of 4-5 months even as officials called it “ageing," reports Nivedita Khandekar.

delhi Updated: Jul 23, 2008 01:51 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

In what may well be a sign of things to come for green heritage of Lutyens’ Delhi, two huge Jamun trees on the Rajpath dried up in a span of 4-5 months even as officials called it “ageing”.

The bare trees in the middle of lush green trees on the prestigious Central Vista present a sorry sight. Plus, the trees of the Central Vista have also bore the brunt of people’s habits which have led to many trees being de-barked (for medicinal purposes), nailed (to hang something), scratched (by lovers etching their names on trees) and also damaged (by people who pull branches for fruits).

Incidentally one of the Jamun tree bears a ‘+’ mark in white which means that it was identified by New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), which looked after the area earlier, as a mother tree, with its seeds being used for growing other trees.

NDMC officials said the trees were thriving when the Central Vista was handed over to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) last year. “An inquiry should be conducted into the reasons for this so that other trees are saved,” officials said.

CPWD officials — citing the reason as “ageing” — said, “We have obtained permission from the Forest Department to auction one of the trees and are expecting the same for the other too. The auction will be held by Saturday.”

Apart from the two trees, there is yet another tree in the area that needs hard pruning and permission is also awaited for the same. But even in this case the officials maintained that it was due to ageing and not due to any disease. A new tree of the same species would be planted at the place, they added.

Environmental experts are not happy with the answers though. Ajay Mahajan from Kalpvriksha, an eco NGO, said a finding by Forest Research Institute (Dehra Dun) had suggested in January 2008 that a very high number of trees on Raj Path are either damaged, affected, dyeing, de-barked and nailed.

“Possibly, the heavy vehicles plying during Republic Day parade and the large number of visitors are responsible for compacting of the soil,” he said, adding, “Putting more organic manure, oxygenating of roots, loosening soil and ample watering can prolong their life.”