NDMC raising ‘2nd generation’ of plants to replace heritage trees
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) said it will be raising a “second generation” of plants, which in future could replace the nearly century-old “heritage trees” — mainly neem and pilkhan — on the verge of collapse in Lutyens’ Delhi.Updated: Aug 19, 2018 03:54 IST
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) said it will be raising a “second generation” of plants, which in future could replace the nearly century-old “heritage trees” — mainly neem and pilkhan — on the verge of collapse in Lutyens’ Delhi.
Officials said several old trees have been indentified in NDMC areas which may fall in the next 10-15 years, therefore a second generation (of similar varieties) of plants are being grown in nurseries, which will replace the trees that fall in the future.
Most of the trees were planted along roads as much as 90-100 years ago.
“A large number of the heritage trees have become old and feeble. We will raise a second generation of plants in nurseries. Once the old heritage trees die or get uprooted, we would transplant these new trees in their place,” said the NDMC official.
An informal discussion with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for transferring a 10-acre land near Yamuna for growing trees has already taken place.
“We proposed to grow the plants for 10-15 years then replace dead trees based on requirement. The idea is ... to have a fully grown tree instead of planting saplings,” said S Chellaiah, horticulture director, NDMC.
“While the trees such as jamun, arjun, peepal, banyan and imli are expected to survive for 50-100 years, varieties such as neem and pilkhan may fall prey to bad weather, increasing concretisation or poor soil quality in next 10 years. That’s why preparation is being made in advance,” an official said.
While the civic agency is considering on ‘transplantation’ as an option for dead heritage trees, experts said that transplantation can’t be an appropriate option for mature or old trees.
“Transplantation is a ‘hit and miss’ process as the survival rate of transplanted trees is very low. In case of fully grown trees, roots are being cut during shifting process and in given circumstances trees hardly survive at the new place... It is rather prescribed to go for saplings rather than trees,” said Ravi Agarwal, director, Toxics Link (an NGO).
NDMC officials however, said the project was conceived after observing technology in countries like Belgium and China. “We will be growing the saplings in containers till they grow up to 10-15 feet. After that we will lift these containers to the sites,” said the official.