Low maintenance and irregular supply of water has led to the drying up of ornamental trees and shrubs that were planted at several stretches in Gurgaon ahead of the Happening Haryana global investors’ summit in March.
Over 5,000 ornamental plants and trees were brought from Telangana ahead of the summit and planted at several places around Signature Tower Chowk, Atul Kataria Chowk, Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, Maharana Pratap Chowk and Iffco Chowk. The varieties include ficus palms, juniperus thai, ficus panda, foxtail palm, triangular palms and table palms.
To make the city look greener, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) had spent around Rs 20 lakh for the plantation drives. However, the once green trees have now turned yellow and the branches have dried up.
Residents in the area said they have hardly ever seen any tankers watering the shrubs and trees in the areas. Some commuters also pointed out that one in every four palm trees have started to dry.
“I remember that around three weeks ago, the government bodies had replanted a number of trees to make the city look beautiful. The plantation definitely uplifted the city’s look but not anymore. I have never seen any tanker to water the trees and the ground remains dry unless it rains,” said Yohima Bhawta, a daily commuter, who takes the metro from Huda City Centre Metro station.
Environmentalists have also said that initially, the MCG rushed to plant the trees but after the summit, it forgot about them.
“The MCG rushed to plant ornamental plants, which require a lot of care and water to grow. Most of them have already started drying out and as summers become more harsh, trees will completely dry,” said Vivek Khamboj, president of Hariyali, an NGO.
Officials of the MCG refuted all claims and said that the plants are being watered on a regular basis. The corporation also said that a few lower leaves and branches of trees dry after they are replanted.
“A few lower branches and leaves of every tree dry out after they are replanted and the same is happening with all the ornamental trees. We are watering the plants regularly,” said Ajay Nirala, executive engineer in horticulture department of the MCG.