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GHMC blind to trees choking on concrete

GHMC blind to trees choking on concrete
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The muchhyped resinbound permeable paving, an innovative method for tree plantation that helps water percolate into the earth, is not being followed in several parts of the city It may be noted that this method is used around 150 trees on a 6km stretch of 100 feet road in Madhapur

Sainathpuram: The much-hyped resin-bound permeable paving, an innovative method for tree plantation that helps water percolate into the earth, is not being followed in several parts of the city. It may be noted that this method is used around 150 trees on a 6-km stretch of 100 feet road in Madhapur.

A mixture of aggregate stones and resin is used to pave pedestrian walks, which are called Resin Bound Tree Pits, providing the necessary solution for urban tree plantings. But the GHMC officials are not using this method at Sainathpuram where the pavement construction has been completed, using only cement. There is no breathing space for trees as the trunk is completely covered with cement. Raghavan, a resident of Sainathpuram, said, “Paving the footpaths with colourful tiles is fine but there is no breathing space for the trees as the trunk is completely covered with cement. The GHMC officials, when contacted, blame it on the contractors. With great difficulty, we coaxed the workers to leave some space for rainwater to percolate, but we cannot monitor the whole stretch.”

On condition of anonymity, a senior GHMC official from the biodiversity wing said that in the tender there was no mention of leaving space near tree trunk. “It should go without saying and it is a matter of sheer common sense. Contractors as well as GHMC staff need to just ensure that trees are protected, instead of saying the tender notification is silent on it,” says Revathi Balakrishnan, a social activist.

“Trees will survive but need aeration and at least two to three feet space should be left so that they are not under pressure,” says Hyderabad Metro rail horticultural officer Sainath. He further added, “Near Metro Rail stations, close to 600 metres of footpath is being developed and we ensure to build a 2-3 foot circular brick work. As many as 40 trees near Avasa Hotel near Hi-Tec City have been secured.”

In Sainathpuram and neighbouring areas in the East Zone, work is going on at a brisk pace and residents find to their surprise that by morning footpaths are cemented. Most of the work is done during the nights. Madhu, a resident of G K Towers near Officers Colony, says, “When contacted, GHMC officials said that the contractors are responsible. It is the duty of the GHMC to ensure that enough space is left for trees to survive. There should be a work inspector and chainman.”

“A mixture of aggregate stones and resin is used to pave pedestrian walks, which are called Resin Bound Tree Pits, providing the necessary solution for urban tree plantings. With this there are no open tree grates that causes litter and waste and eliminates pedestrian tripping hazards and growth of weeds,” said Hari Chandana, Additional Commissioner who oversaw the resin-bound permeable paving at Madhapur.
This is, however, not replicated in other places in the city, Hari Chandana added.

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