Sidhwan canal waterfront in Ludhiana: Councillor flags termite-infested trees, seeks action - Hindustan Times
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Sidhwan canal waterfront in Ludhiana: Councillor flags termite-infested trees, seeks action

By, Ludhiana
Oct 05, 2022 10:50 PM IST

The councillor during the Ludhiana MC General House meeting also demanded to repair the damaged portion of Sidhwan canal waterfront after the forest department conducted a demolition drive in the green belt in April this year. The forest department razed the concrete structure established around trees citing the orders of National Green Tribunal.

Citing the Chandigarh incident wherein a 16-year-old girl died and many other were injured after a part of tree had fell on them in a school in July this year, councillor Amrit Varsha Rampal sought replacement of around three dozen full-grown but hollow or dead trees at Sidhwan canal waterfront established by the municipal corporation (MC) in Sarabha Nagar area.

Councillor Amrit Varsha Rampal showing hollow portion of trees infected with termites at Sidhwan canal waterfront site in Ludhiana. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Councillor Amrit Varsha Rampal showing hollow portion of trees infected with termites at Sidhwan canal waterfront site in Ludhiana. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Raising the issue during the MC General House meeting on Tuesday, Rampal said, “The trees have been infected by termites and can fall on the visitors at any time, resulting in an injury or fatality. A large number of trees are also dead.”

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She said a large number of residents, including children, visit the green belt for morning and evening walk, and spend leisure time with their families. The administration should take immediate steps to replace these trees, she said.

“These are all full-grown and decades-old trees. As the trunk has become hollow, it cannot withstand the weight of the tree. During storms and heavy rains, the branches or the entire tree could fall, leading to an unfortunate incident . As the trees fall under the jurisdiction of the forest department and green belt has been established by the MC under Smart City project, coordinated efforts should be put in to replace these trees,” said Rampal.

Slamming the forest department for demolishing concrete structure and seating areas around the trees in the green belt in the past, Rampal said the forest department should have also replaced the trees, which are in bad shape.

Listening to the issue raised by the councillor in the House meeting, MC commissioner Shena Aggarwal had directed the MC officials to check the site and take required action.

MC junior engineer (horticulture wing) Kirpal Singh said he would visit the site in the coming days as he was on leave till Wednesday. As the trees fall under the jurisdiction of the forest department, the MC would write to the forest department to replace the trees, if required, he said.

‘Repair damaged portion of waterfront’

Rampal also demanded to repair the damaged portion of waterfront after the forest department conducted a demolition drive in the green belt in April this year.

The forest department razed the concrete structure established around trees citing the orders of National Green Tribunal. The tribunal had ordered the authorities to demolish concrete structures around 1-metre radius of the trees. Controversy had erupted after the MC accused the forest department of trespassing and damaging the structures without issuing any notice. An inquiry was also marked in the case.

Criticising the forest department over the action, Rampal said no action has been taken against any of the officials in this regard, but the authorities should at least repair the damaged portion, including the cycling and jogging tracks.

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