Call it apathy on part of the state government or the local administration, dying palm trees on Mullanpur road in the city mock at Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal’s claims of turning Mullanpur, also called New Chandigarh, into Dubai.
More than 260 palm trees were planted by private developers on the road leading to Mullanpur from Chandigarh with each plant costing about Rs 8,000.
“The real estate developers had sought permission from the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for planting these trees on the road alongside their projects. The developers were also to maintain these trees but they failed, thus spoiling the entire look of the stretch,” said a senior official.
“The palm trees were planted for beautification but now with their poor upkeep the entire purpose stands defeated,” the official said.
“Palm trees have an aesthetic value and are good for the roads that have high traffic as they do not obstruct light. Besides, they also help check pollution,” said Prof RK Kohli, an ecologist and vice-chancellor of the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda.
“Though it is a low-maintenance tree but they should have been careful while transplanting them. The tree should have been provided aerial support and the pit should have been deep enough,” said Kohli.
AIRPORT ROAD TREES SHADE BETTER
Date palm trees on the between the JLPL site and Chhat village and from Airport Chowk to the international airport are a shade better than those on Mullanpur road owing to proper maintenance by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA). The GMADA, which had bought 135 date palm trees from Uttar Pradesh for Rs 7,500 per plant, allocated about Rs 7 lakh for the maintenance of these trees.
The GMADA is planning to replace the trees which are drying up.
These trees were also planted on the stretch from YPS Chowk to Gurdwara Singh Shahedaan and from ISB Chowk to Sector 48-C around two years ago during the first Progressive Punjab Summit. Each bottle palm tree had cost Rs 10,970 then.