Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena on Friday launched a drive by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) for pruning old trees in the city's Connaught Place area.
The move comes in the wake of at least 77 trees being uprooted, some of them decades old, in Lutyens' Delhi in the fierce thunderstorm and heavy rains that lashed the capital on May 30.
''This morning, launched the scientific pruning of overgrown and dead branches of old trees at Connaught Place by NDMC.
''The exercise was undertaken during off-hours to avoid inconvenience to people. This (the drive) will ensure improved tree health leading to lesser uprooting and falling of branches in storms,'' Saxena tweeted.
According to data provided by the NDMC, the Lutyens' Delhi area has lost as many as 1,813 trees since 2015. Officials claimed that around 300 heritage trees were also lost between 2015-16 and 2021-22.
Indigenous tree species such as neem, peepal, pilkhan, jamun, arjun, khirni and imli among others were planted in the NDMC area when British architect Edwin Landseer Lutyens was entrusted with the task to plan New Delhi in 1911. According to officials, the LG directed officers present to complete the pruning drive in the entire NDMC area within three weeks and ensure that the exercise is undertaken strictly between 4 am and 8 am so that people are not inconvenienced and traffic is not held up. The LG stated that such exercises not only help the trees withstand heavy storms and cyclonic winds but also enhance their health apart from providing them with a good uniform shape that will further add to the beauty of the city.
''He said that besides enhancing the life span, it will also improve the aesthetic aspect of the trees,'' a senior NDMC official said. ''The LG further stated that pruning of trees will not only help in improving visibility on the roads but also eliminate dark spots for ensuring women's safety and hindrance-free traffic movement,'' the official said.
L-G Saxena instructed officials to procure the required number of SPMM machines to complete the work in time, underlining that NDMC should also have its own machines rather than solely being dependent on contractual outsourcing, the official added.
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