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Current Affairs

Mumbai’s tree fall incident

Date: 27 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Mumbai city has been witnessing tree fall incidents that have forced activists to urge the corporation to plant only native species of trees.

 

Background

Mumbai city’s location makes it vulnerable to gusty winds. Plants or trees not native to the area cannot hold onto the ground and fall down.

 

Details

  • The recent Tauktae cyclone was proved to be the eye-opener that enabled citizen groups to diversify their demands from the corporation.

  • The number of trees that fell during the cyclonic storm was more than the number of trees that fall during the four-month monsoon period.

  • Further inspection has showed that about 70 percent of trees that fell during cyclone were non-native species such as Gulmohar, royal palm and rain tree.

 

Native trees

  • It is a variety of plant/tree that traces its origin to a particular area or climatic/geographic condition. It grows as well as reproduces there.

  • Native trees can cope with diverse condition such as humidity, heat, rainfall, droughts etc. They can survive without much interference.

  • Non-native tree roots cannot hold on to the soil, thus making them vulnerable to uprooting. They may also carry disease, which may be transmitted to native species.

 

Other reasons for uprooting

  • Large-scale concretisation is also a major reason for trees to uproot during heavy rains. They prevent water from percolating and lead to weakening of roots.

  • The National Green Tribunal has mandated that 1-metre space should be provided around the tree trunks for their better growth.