Withering bamboo clusters in Cubbon Park danger to public safety

Withering bamboo clusters in Cubbon Park danger to public safety

Bamboo trees uprooted following heavy showers on Sunday. DH PHOTO

The growing number of dry bamboo clusters in Cubbon Park has become a concern for the authorities, who worry that the dry wood might trigger forest fires or crash down on the visitors.

Nearly 60 out of the 200 clusters in the park have dried up and may fall on the visitors as they are beginning to wither. The dried up tree clusters could also catch fire. The remaining clusters are in the flowering stage and will die in three months time.

To prevent major fires or accidents, the horticulture department has been after the forest department for the past four months to inspect the bamboo clusters and give permission to fell them. The forest department, on the other hand, cited shortage of staff and election duty for the delay. As a result, the city's prominent lung space has become more dangerous for the visitors.

The Cubbon Park, a sprawling free space in the heart of the city, has been promoted as a prime tourist spot after Lalbagh. Deputy Director, Horticulture Department-Cubbon Park, Mahantesh Murgod told Deccan Herald that the bamboo clusters have to be removed 45 years after the local species were planted.

Unlike other tree species, bamboo trees flower once in their lifetime and wither away. The clusters in Cubbon Park are in the final stages of withering.

"We wrote to the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Conservator of Forests four months ago," Murgod said. "We received the reply that a team headed by the Assistant Conservator of Forests would inspect the clusters and submit a report, but we're still waiting," he said. 

Though the range forest officers informed the horticulture department that the inspection will happen after the election, nothing has taken place so far, Murgod further added.

The staff at the horticulture department has been keeping a close watch on the bamboo clusters for the past five months and are doing their best to ensure they would not crash down on the visitors. The department is also in talks with the Bamboo Society of India to pick the fast-growing species, while also preparing the grounds for the growth of new vegetation after clearing the existing clusters.