Tamil Nadu

Trees a threat to heritage building

A row of massive, exotic eucalyptus trees lining the entrance to the Government Headquarters Hospital in Udhagamandalam poses a risk to the structural integrity of the heritage structure and to the patients visiting the facility.

However, what has delayed the removal of the trees is the need to switch off the power supply to the hospital before cutting them down. Doctors and patients at the hospital said that the row of around 10 trees, some of which are more than 75-feet-tall, sway heavily in wind during heavy rain in Udhagamandalam town. While there has been no major structural damage yet to the 150-year-old hospital building, officials worry that the trees are at risk of getting uprooted and falling on the hospital.

Permission has already been granted to cut the imposing trees last year, officials said. However, the people tasked with cutting down the trees want power supply to the hospital cut for about 10 days and roads surrounding the hospital blocked.

Joint Director of Health Services Dr. Hiriyan Ravi Kumar said the hospital had a dialysis unit, an ICU, as well as trauma, casualty and emergency wards where 24-hour power supply was crucial. “We can run these facilities using generators for a few days, but not for more than that, as it could lead to serious implications for patients relying on the hospital,” said Dr. Ravi Kumar, adding that he was told that cutting down the trees would take a lot of time as they were located in a highly populated and congested part of town. Officials said the District Collector was also approached.

“We plan to float a fresh tender with condition that the people who bid will have to cut down the trees within a fixed time frame employing additional manpower,” he added.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 6:26:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/trees-a-threat-to-heritage-building/article29387040.ece

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