A 350-Year-old Peepal Tree Uproots- 3 Vehicles Severely Damaged near Car Street Temple

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A 350-Year-old Peepal Tree Uproots- 3 Vehicles Severely Damaged near Car Street Temple

  •  A 350-year-old Peepal Tree Uproots in front of Car Street Shree VenkataramanaTemple- 3 Vehicles-two construction vehicles belonging to Mugrody Construction and a car Severely Damaged. What’s surprising is that when a tree is ready to be chopped for road widening, there will be a bunch of environmentalists, activists and members of saffron organizations raising their voices and also protest, but when a tree gets uproots and damages property, vehicles etc there are no one at the site, except fire service personnel and police. How nice?

Mangaluru : In spite of falling tree branches and also trees getting uprooted and causing heavy damage to buildings, property, vehicles, and also injuring commuters, the district authorities and MCC Officials have not taken any action in trimming branches or chopping down old hazardous trees. We have seen in the past, when the city gets lashed with torrential rains, and gusty winds, there have been quite a few incidents of trees being uprooted or branches landing on buildings/homes.vehicles and people. Environmentalists and Forest Department Officials are quick enough to be at the spot to stop trimming or cutting hazardous trees, but when these trees come crashing down on vehicles, houses, walls etc, during that time you’ll not find any of the environmental activists nor activists from saffron outfits. Do they feel guilty to be there during such incidents? Oh well!

In today’s incident a nearly 350-year-old huge peepal tree got uprooted and came crashing down on a crane and small water tanker parked next to the peepal tree belonging to Mugrody Construction, and damaging a car parked nearby. The incident happened at 8.30 am this morning (24 January 2021), and except for these three vehicles, there were no injuries to people/devotees who are seen visiting Shree Venkataramana Temple. Due to that early morning timing there were not many vehicles parked nearby to the fallen tree, and also not many people moving around being Sunday. Also luckily the tree uprooted and opposite to the Temple, if it had fallen on the Temple side, there would have been extensive damage to the entrance portion of the temple.

Also lucky was Mrs Ratna who has been selling flowers and other religious items sitting right under this fallen peepal tree for the last fifteen years, and speaking to Team Mangalorean she said,” I think Lord Venkataramana only saved me. If the tree had fallen on the side where I always sit, I would have been crushed to death. It is surprising to note how the tree got uprooted, when there were no winds or other circumstances. But thank God, I am lucky to be alive, so also many devotees who throng the temple”. Another lucky woman is Vijaya who sits near to the temple and also sells flowers, and speaking to Team Mangalorean said that if the tree had fallen against the temple, I would have been a victim, either with injuries or death. “Lord Venkataramana saved me, that’s all I can say. It was scary to see the tree falling right in front of my eyes” added Viyaya.

Flower Seller near  the fallen Peepal tree Mrs Ratna

Flower seller near the temple opposite to the peepal Tree, Mrs Viyaya

Popular & Experienced Kudla’s Tree Cutter, HUSSAIN

As per a temple trustee, the tree existed well before the temple was built. It could be over 350 years or could be nearly a thousand year old. Looking at the fallen peepal tree, its bottom was totally decayed and dried up, ánd probably due to the upper weight it might have gotten uprooted. It is also learnt that a few years ago the vtree was about to be axed during the road widening of Car Street, but was saved due to protest from temple authorities and locals. Most of the tree branches and debris has been cleared, and fire service personnel are trying their best to clear the area, for the smooth movement of traffic. Mangaluru’s famous tree-cutter and who is ever ready during such incidents, Hussain was full in action chopping the branches with machine saw.

So coming to the point, lately while scores of old trees have fallen all over the city following strong gales, resulting in damages to vehicles and property, why haven’t the concerned authorities taken any precautionary measures. Most of the trees had no room for their roots to spread out and this led to gradual decay. In other cases, growing trees had their branches cut regularly on one side, because they leaned on to private property; the trees grew up lopsided and leaned far on to the roads. This means their remaining branches too were regularly being trimmed and they lost strength.

The concerned authorities are expected to monitor a city-wide “tree census” to determine how many trees are really a danger to traffic or at risk of falling down during heavy rain and strong winds. Trees which are unable to bear the air pollution and decaying should also be identified. But it seems like no one is doing their job right- and as a result we have trees come crashing down on vehicles etc now and then. A few officials from MCC say that when they are ready to trim or cut down old and hazardous trees, they are usually stopped by environment activists or Forest dept officials- so they are in a fix. On the other hand, the problem with our MCC authorities is that they wait till the trees fall, and then only take action–like many trees had fallen due to rains recently.

The safety of pedestrians and of all road users should be the first and most important priority for National Highway authorities and also local authorities and also for a State body that has responsibility in this area. Some of these trees may have disease, which is a clear indication of root rot. Through this report Team Mangalorean is asking as a matter of urgency with the concerned people at MCC and Forest department that old and hazardous trees are inspected and that those that appear in any way dubious should be promptly removed, before they crash down resulting in injuries or death to motorists or pedestrians. And for every tree that is cut, plant 100 more trees, so at least human lives could be saved ,and also prevent damages to property and vehicles.

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