In service of withered lungs of Capital, a tree ambulance | delhi | Hindustan Times
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In service of withered lungs of Capital, a tree ambulance

delhi Updated: Feb 11, 2009 13:24 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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Fungal infection, physical injuries, psychological stress … sounds familiar? No, we are not talking of humans, but the ageing green beauties in the national capital.

And to “treat” these and various other ailments, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has hit upon a novel idea — a tree ambulance.

Starting this April, the ambulance (possibly a mini-truck) having 6-7 trained horticulture department personnel with equipment and treatment material will scan roads on a daily basis for “patient” trees. This is part of the Plant Protection Unit of the civic body which will have a dedicated team to exclusively look after the health of trees.

“When you are ill, you go to a doctor. (But) if a tree cannot move, we will take the doctor to it,” said NDMC chairman Parimal Rai while elaborating on the latest budget.

Trees are the defining character of the New Delhi area and most of them were planted in the 1920s when Lutyen was developing the new capital. There has been a continuous decrease in the number of full-grown adult trees due to various reasons.

“The Forest Research Institute in Dehradun had compiled a status report on the health of trees and suggested that many ailing trees can be salvaged,” Rai said.

Initially there would be only one ambulance but the number would increase subsequently. The ambulance will have equipment like chain saw, instrument to prune trees, shovels, medicine sprayer, etc.