Thursday, December 2

Century-old banyan hit by Amphan gets new life

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A century–old Banyan tree, which was uprooted by Cyclone Amphan, has been transplanted from its original location on Allenby Road to a small patch of greenery on Heysham Road on Wednesday. This created an instance of how a local councillor and concerned citizens can be perfect saviours of the city’s greenery at a time when councillors are often accused of destroying trees in the name of development.

The cyclone had destroyed the roadside trees at Chakraberia in Bhowanipore like other parts of the city. Inspired by the story of replantation by concerned citizens at Maidan, the councillor of Ward 70, Ashim Basu, had sought help from these youths for restoration of the affected trees. They identified a few trees that could be restored while the councillor helped them by arranging a mechanical lifter (JCB) for the translocation of the trees.

“Basu gathered all resources almost by using a magic wand. As the lifter came, we swung into action. We took horticulturists along with us as the time for revival of such uprooted trees is not very long and more than two weeks had already passed. Transplantation of the Banyan tree was a challenge. The growth of root system was seriously inhibited at its current location, thanks to over-concretization. If we could relocate it to a greener patch, its growth would be unrestricted,” said Ajay Mitta, one of the key members of Active Citizens Together for Sustainability (ACTS), which had carried out the replantation at Maidan. “I was heart-broken by seeing the devastation on May 21. I decided to replant majority of the affected trees. After hearing their efforts in Maidan, I got in touch with them for the transplantation of old trees. We decided to translocate the Banyan tree to a place where it would create some awareness for students. We chose a small green patch in front of J J Ajmera School on Heysahm Road. When students come there after the lockdown break, they will not only be surprised but will also be curious to know how it was brought there,” said Ashim Basu.

Source:Times of India

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