Dushyant Singh Pundir
Chandigarh, February 4
More than six months after the tragic incident at Carmel Convent School in Sector 9, the inquiry committee has submitted its fact-finding report to the UT Administrator. A 16-year-old girl had lost her life and 19 suffered injuries after a heritage peepal tree fell on school premises on July 8 last year.
Will study report on Monday: Adviser
UT Adviser Dharam Pal said he would examine the report on Monday and action, if any, could be taken only after that.
On July 12, the administration had constituted a one-member inquiry committee headed by Justice Jitendra Chauhan (retd), a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to ascertain the facts and fix responsibility for the incident. The committee was also entrusted with suggesting remedial action to be taken to prevent any such untoward incident in the future.
An official said Justice Chauhan had submitted the report to UT Administrator Banwarilal Purohit yesterday. For further action, the Administrator sent the report to UT Adviser Dharam Pal.
When contacted, the Adviser said he would examine the report on Monday and action, if any, could be taken only after that.
After the incident, the administration had also constituted a committee of officials from the Municipal Corporation, Forest Department and Horticulture Wing of the Administration to visit all 211 schools and other educational institutions in the city to inspect trees to avoid any such incident in the future. The District Magistrate had also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
The inquiry panel was headed by the SDM (Central) and had Executive Engineer, Horticulture, UT; and Range Forest Officer, Forest Department, as its members. The magisterial inquiry report was also submitted to the one-member inquiry committee.
On July 19, a research team from the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, visited Chandigarh and decided to study issues related to plant pathology, entomology and conduct ultrasonic study to find out the extent of hollowness in standing trees. All remaining 30 heritage trees were thoroughly inspected by the committee for their health, strength and vulnerability to uprooting, etc. After a thorough examination of all aspects, the committee recommended felling of two over-matured trees in Sectors 19 and 23. Both trees and the one that fell at the school were later removed.
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