Nagpur: More than 3,000 trees on the main roads of the city have been damaged as a result of efforts to light up their trunks and branches for the C20 summit. Around one lakh nails have been hammered into the trees to install various types of halogen and LED lights in series. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has spent approximately Rs20 crore on lighting up trees on both sides of Airport Road, Wardha Road from Airport T-point to RBI Square, VIP Road from Rahate Colony T-point to Deekshabhoomi, from Alankar Square to GPO Square, and from RBI Square to Telangkhedi Garden to Futala lake.
One, Kunal Mourya inspected the trees on Wednesday and alleged that at least 3,000 trees have been damaged, with at least 30 nails in each tree’s trunk and branches. Mourya also stated that sap is oozing out wherever nails have been hammered, and branches have been trimmed to accommodate the lights. He claimed that some of these trees in Civil Lines are heritage ones and very old.
Activists have demanded offences against NMC officials for violating the Tree Preservation Act, defacement of public property, and destruction of the environment. Following demands from NGOs, municipal commissioner Radhakrishnan B had launched a campaign to remove nails and advertisement boards from trees in December 2021. The civic chief had also decided to lodge a complaint with police against such violators.
Mourya suggested that the police and garden department should immediately register an offence against officials who directed contractors to hammer nails into trees. He also recommended an inquiry into how many bird nests were damaged along with habitats of birds and insects on all these trees, as birds and insects play a crucial role in the environment.
As part of the campaign in 2021, the NGO Green Vigil Foundation had said that when nails are hammered into tree barks, it creates a pathway for fungal infection, and slowly the tree dies. Now, NMC officials have claimed that contractors were directed not to hammer nails for the lighting, and they will check and take necessary action.