The Concrete Terror: Reasons why there is surge in tree falling incidents in Pune City 

The Concrete Terror: Reasons why there is surge in tree falling incidents in Pune City

The Concrete Terror: Reasons why there is surge in tree falling incidents in Pune City ( Representational Image )

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There has been a spike in tree falling incidents in Pune City, specialists associate these incidents to non-scientific tree planting, road concretization, lack of soil surrounding tree trunks, and Pune’s rapid expansion for the increase in treefall cases.

By Khushi Maheshwari 

In the previous 20 days, there have been over 400 treefall events in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) area. Experts attribute this increase in accidents to a number of factors, including internal road concretization and rapid urbanization. In only the last four days, there have been 231 instances of trees falling.

In contrast to other localities like Kothrud, Baner, Balewadi, and Aundh, the majority of treefall occurrences had been reported in Hadapsar, Wanwadi, Pune Cantonment, and Kondhwa, Undri according to Nilesh Mahajan, an official with the fire department. he added that pre-monsoon showers were the time when the majority of treefall accidents had happened.

Another representative of the fire department stated that the service removes fallen trees that are a hazard or cause issues for commuters. It was noticed that roadside locations are where most trees are seen to fall. It was mentioned that trees fall because their roots become weaker due to the absence of soil surrounding the trunk. It was also mentioned that for the past few years, there has been a rise in treefall incidences in the city.

An officer from the Tree Authority noted that internal roads had seen widespread concretization. It was observed that the soil surrounding the tree stem has totally concretized in numerous places, resulting in limited growth. It was mentioned that these trees eventually give way under the weight of the rain. It additionally addressed how further harm to tree roots has resulted from road excavation for the purpose of installing underground cables or utility lines. It was further noted that unequal branch pruning is the reason for the increased frequency of treefall.

Pune based environmentalist claimed that one aspect of development that has hindered Pune’s green space is the concretization of roads. It was suggested that other development-related issues that threaten trees include flyovers, road widening, and riverside development.

Furthermore, a conservation biologist, pointed out that the PMC is to blame for the widespread cement-concretization of interior roadways. Water percolation has been reported to have entirely stopped as a result. It was also claimed that the imbalance caused by the non-scientific planting of trees makes it easy for the trees to topple over in the event of strong winds and rain.

Former chief superintendent engineer of the road department stated that unequal tree branch cutting and concretization provide an imbalance that causes the branches to fall after heavy rain. It was mentioned that measures are being done to make sure trees have enough room to breathe and develop organically.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was mentioned as having ruled, in one of the 2014 sessions, that any concretization be kept three feet around the trees devoid of any kind of growth-promoting material in order to support the stability and growth of the trees.