Slow removal of tree debris in RR Nagar angers locals

As officials go through the painful process of estimating Thursday’s heavy rain, residents of Rajarajeshwari Nagar are furious that they have not cleared the trees ripped during the downpour.

The downpour toppled 55 trees and 250 branches. Though the city as a whole suffered due to the rain on June 6, RR Nagar bore the brunt. It took until Sunday for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to compute the correct figures of the fallen trees, which, in the end, was nearly three times the initial estimation of 20. Tree falls also caused incessant power cuts in the area.

Repeated complaints by the residents prompted Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun to inspect the locality. “When I visited the area, I learnt that the BBMP staff was working really hard for the past two days to clear the (fallen) trees and branches. Teams were working day and night,” she said.

Cutting a single half-broken tree and clearing the debris takes nearly three hours, she said. “Fifty-five trees have fallen in the area. The BBMP deployed eight teams of forest department officials in the city to attend to the issues related to toppled trees. We have also brought in the control room staff for the task,” she said.

Some streets in RR Nagar did not have power supply until Sunday due to the toppled trees. “I heard from tree experts that RR Nagar has several 40- to 50-year-old trees that can’t withstand heavy winds. There are no cases of trees falling due to root damages caused externally,” Gangambike said, assuring that the corporation would clear the old trees.

The mayor said she has instructed forest officials not to put pressure on workers while clearing the debris. “There were instances where heavy tree logs had fallen on workers’  legs causing injury. I don’t want that to happen since they also have families,” she said.

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