Several councillors have decided to stop waiting for the corporation’s tree-trimming hydraulic ladders and instead hire labourers themselves to climb up and do the needful before the imminent monsoon sends any of them tipping over.
At least three councillors of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) said they had made repeated requests to the civic body’s environment department to get trees trimmed in their wards.
However, the waiting period is rather long given that the environment department, that is in charge of trimming trees in Salt Lake and its adjoining areas, only has a couple of truck-mounted hydraulic ladders that can reach the canopy height of tall trees. These ladders are sent all over the 41 wards that form the civic body, including places like Rajarhat and Narayanpur.
“The waiting list is huge even after we place requests,” said a councillor who did not wish to be named. “In most cases, by the time the teams reach us, a thundershower had already taken place and taken down trees or branches dangerously.”
At least six trees had tipped over in Salt Lake alone during the last thundershower.
Ranjan Poddar, the councillor of Ward 34, that comprises blocks in Salt Lake’s Sector III, said he was planning to hire chainsaws and mobile ladders specially designed for trimming trees. “Salt Lake has already lost 4,000 trees during cyclone Amphan and now we need to save as many of them as possible. Trimming them properly will ensure they don’t tip over and fall,” said Poddar.
Across the city there have been many instances where trees have been hacked or trimmed carelessly, resulting in their death. But Poddar said he had decided to rope in gardeners and trimmers who know the techniques of trimming tall trees.
Even though the civic body’s ladders would have been available free of cost, at least a couple of more councillors said they were planning to pay out of their ward funds to hire tree-trimming equipment as it would reach them on time.
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