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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Mango tree topples near Shakespeare Sarani-Hungerford Street crossing, traffic hit

It took around three hours to cut the trunk and the branches into small pieces and clear the road for traffic

Monalisa Chaudhuri, Subhajoy Roy Shakespeare Sarani Published 18.05.24, 06:22 AM
The mango tree that crashed near the Shakespeare Sarani-Hungerford Street crossing on Friday afternoon.

The mango tree that crashed near the Shakespeare Sarani-Hungerford Street crossing on Friday afternoon. The Telegraph

A full-grown mango tree, estimated to be about 25 years old, along a pavement of Shakespeare Sarani, near its crossing with Hungerford Street, crashed on Friday afternoon, blocking the road and traffic for around three hours.

No one was injured, police said. The tree toppled around 12.55pm and the direction of traffic on Shakespeare Sarani changes from west-to-east to east-to-west at 1pm.

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Since only a few minutes were left for the change to take effect, there were no vehicles on the stretch when the tree fell.

The police usually stop vehicles from entering Shakespeare Sarani from Chowringhee a few minutes before the change in direction to ensure a seamless transition.

The tree being removed from the crash site.

The tree being removed from the crash site. The Telegraph

“Luckily, as the tree crashed minutes before the direction of the traffic was about to change, all signals were red and there were no vehicles on that stretch,” said an officer of the traffic department.

It took around three hours to cut the trunk and the branches into small pieces and clear the road for traffic. The stretch was opened for traffic around 4pm.

The uprooted tree crashed into a traffic signal post.

No pedestrians were trapped or injured.

As traffic on Shakespeare Sarani got affected, ripple effects were felt on all surrounding roads. Snarls were reported from Wood Street, Hungerford Street, Rawdon Street and Park Street as well.

As personnel from the disaster management group, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and cops from the south and east traffic guards swung into action to remove the fallen tree, vehicles were diverted through the remaining stretch of Shakespeare Sarani and Wood Street.

A senior KMC engineer said the girth of the mango tree was about 3.5ft. “Which means the tree was about 25 years old, at least. It was about 35ft tall,” he said.

The KMC team cut off the tree branches. The portion of the trunk that broke and fell on the road were cut into smaller pieces and takenaway.

“Our main objective was to resume traffic at the earliest. A portion of the trunk is still lying there. We will remove it over the next few days,” said the senior engineer.

Earlier this month, on May 7, about 120 trees in Calcutta were uprooted after the season’s first storm, with a gust of wind reaching 77kmph, hit the city.

There was no storm or rain when the mango tree along Shakespeare Sarani fell on Friday.

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