Protect deodars at all costs : The Tribune India

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Protect deodars at all costs

Protect deodars at all costs

Reckless human intervention has resulted in the weakening of the root system of the tall deodar trees.



VP Mohan

THE Britishers selected Shimla as their summer capital because of the dense growth of deodars all around. The altitude is ideally suited for such trees. Due to the unprecedented rains recently, there have been incidents of deodar trees falling primarily along roadsides, steep slopes and areas adjacent to multi-storeyed buildings. Here, there was not enough space left for the root system of these grown-up trees.

Due to reckless and mindless human intervention, the root system has become too weak to ensure stability for the tall deodar trees. This can be seen along most of the roads in Shimla, especially Forest Road and the road leading to Annandale ground. In the adjoining catchment areas where there is no human intervention, there has hardly been any incident of mature deodars trees falling.

Shimla without deodars trees will not be a place worth living as the climatic conditions here are completely influenced by these majestic trees. Artificial regeneration of deodar trees or any other species has not yielded the desired results because of the huge biotic pressure and dumping of waste. Therefore, it is very important for the survival of Shimla that whatever deodar trees are left, should be protected.

Efforts have to be made to avoid slope cutting very close to the root systems. Do not touch the tree growth in the 17 notified green belts. Reckless construction and widening of roads all through Shimla have been the main reasons for such large-scale incidents of deodar trees falling. Shimla requires a development model which has to very carefully factor in the vulnerability of the slopes to unscientifically-constructed buildings.

— The writer is former Principal Chief Conservator Forest, HP

#Shimla


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