Kerala

Governor urged to save 150-year-old mango tree

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.   | Photo Credit: S. GOPAKUMAR

A group of more than 100 residents of the city have written to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan seeking his intervention in protecting a 150-year-old mango tree on the Raj Bhavan premises from being cut down.

The petition, endorsed by Mullakkara Ratnakaran, chairman of the environment committee of the Legislative Assembly; S.M. Vijayanand, former Chief Secretary; R.V.G. Menon; B.R.P. Bhaskar; S. Santhi; J. Devika; K.G. Thara; Achuthsankar S. Nair and organisations such as SEWA, Eco-solutions, and Tree Walk, urges the Governor to cancel the auction procedures under way for cutting the tree that has been identified as being in a ‘dangerous position’ by the garden supervisor and assistant engineer of the PWD civil wing.

Tree Walk, a city-based collective of nature lovers, had petitioned the Governor’s office on the issue on December 21, the reply to which said the no-objection certificate for cutting the tree had been given by the Social Forestry Division.

Highlighting the contribution of trees (some of them a few hundred years old as per the petition) on the Raj Bhavan campus in maintaining a micro-climate in the vicinity, the petition says the mango tree, behind ‘B’ type residential quarters, is part of a unique germplasm that is part of the heritage of the city and its loss cannot be compensated by planting new saplings. It urges the Governor to allow scientists from the Kerala Forest Research Institute in Thrissur to conduct a scientific assessment of the tree’s health, and its restoration by a team of tree doctors based in Kottayam. It also urges him to allow a few of the petitioners to view the tree.

Reassessment

The petition says that the NOC for cutting the tree was apparently given in 2018, and if the tree were unhealthy and dangerous, it would have fallen already. It also calls on the Governor to constitute a reassessment team comprising experts.

The petitioners have also asked the Social Forestry wing to conduct a fresh assessment of the tree’s health.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 7:42:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/governor-urged-to-save-150-year-old-mango-tree/article33595983.ece

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