The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A tree for every tree felled by storm
- Medium-sized replacements will weather future Nor’westers, reckons civic body

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has taken an initiative to make up for the loss of greenery caused by Wednesday’s Nor’wester by planting around 200 saplings across the city.

Member, mayor-in-council (parks and gardens) of the CMC, H.N. Gupta, said on Sunday that the civic body had taken stock of the number of trees in the city and felt that the loss of 200 trees, uprooted by the storm, could be recovered by planting a similar number of saplings. “Just before the monsoon sets in, we will plant the saplings in different parts of Calcutta, wherever the trees had fallen on Wednesday,” Gupta added.

As tall trees are easy victims of storms, the civic body is opting for trees of medium growth. “We plan to plant medium-sized trees like arjun, chhatim, bakul, jarul, krishnachura and radhachura, which will be able to survive the fury of storms. Our estimate says that about 200 saplings will be required to balance the loss. We will have to wait till the third week of June for the onset of monsoon. Otherwise, we will have to nurse them by spraying water,” said Ranajit Samanta, senior horticulturist attached to the CMC.

The havoc wreaked by Wednesday’s Nor’wester had inconvenienced several parts of the city, as uprooted trees blocked lanes and bylanes, covered pavements and snapped overhead electric wires. The CMC had to cancel the leave petitions of 36 employees of the parks and gardens department and engage them in clearing the trees and severed foliage from roads and pavements.

It is learnt that the CMC had plans to remove the uprooted trees in a phased manner. But after complaints started pouring in from people of both south and north Calcutta, the civic body decided to take up the job on a war-footing. The CMC sources said all roads and pavements would be cleared of broken trees by Friday night.

According to a senior CMC official, around 100 trees were uprooted at the Gobra burial ground on Wednesday. Another 100 trees, either uprooted or broken, had blocked roads in the Esplanade area, SN Banerjee Road, Lenin Sarani, near the Central Telegraph Office in BBD Bag, Sealdah, near Victoria House on Central Avenue, Vivekananda Road, Strand Road, CIT Road in Beleghata and the AJC Bose Road-Elliot Road crossing.

Other pockets hit by the storm include Suresh Sarkar Street in Entally, Entally CIT Road, Ladies Park, Sundari Mohan Avenue, Pratapaditya Road, Ballygunge Circular Road, Harish Mukherjee Road, Chetla Central Road, Piyarimohan Avenue, Priyanath Mullick Road, SP Mukherjee Road, Judges’ Court Road, Swinhoe Street, Lake View Road, Keoratala Road, Ashutosh Mukherjee Road, Ramesh Mitra Street and Belvedere Road.

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