After several trees fell on electric lines during Sunday’s thunderstorm, the discom has asked the forest department to identify ageing trees that are too close to power lines. The discom wants these trees pruned or removed so that power infrastructure is not damaged in case of heavy winds.
Seven transformers, almost 100 electric polls, and a large number of overhead conductors were damaged in the storm, crippling power supply in the city.
“Most trees that fell down were old and hollow. We have asked forest officials to identify such trees and either remove or prune them,” Sanjeev Chopra, superintending engineer (operations) of DHBVN, Gurgaon said. The discom has also sought the help of the district administration in the matter.
Chopra said it took a lot to time to remove trees and repair damaged lines. The discom hires private personnel and cranes to remove trees.
The idea, however, has not gone down well with environmentalists and forest officials, who feel that removing trees is no option to resolve such issues.
Conservator of forest, Gurgaon, MD Sinha is not in favour of the idea. “There is no technology to identify whether trees are empty from inside. Trees are pruned every year. There is concrete all around, leaving no space for trees to breathe, and their roots are weakening,” Sinha said. He said the matter will be discussed with other officials and they will work out some viable solution to address the issue.
Environment analyst Chetan Agarwal said there is a need to identify causes because of which trees are getting weak. “A survey can be carried out to identify what species of trees are falling down. Removing old trees is no option as Gurgaon has scarce greenery. Pruning can be done to minimise damage to infrastructure,” Agarwal said. He also said that expert advice from the forest department is required in the matter.