Amphan: Kolkata loses 5000 trees, may see rise in pollution levels


Amphan cyclone wreaked havoc in the city of Kolkata on 20th and 21st May, claimed several lives and damaging property. But, it also affected the green cover of the greater Kolkata area uprooting over 5,000 trees.

Image source: Reuters
Image Source: Indian Express

Cyclone damaged the world’s largest banyan tree in Kolkata

According to Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), apart from the trees, hundreds of lamposts were uprooted. Trees blocked toads in areas such as Maidan, Lake Gardens, Gariahat, Golf Green, Salt Lake, Southern Avenue, etc.

The extremely severe cyclone has also damaged the world’s largest banyan tree in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in Howrah’s Shibpur, Botanical Survey of India scientist Shiv Kumar said.

The uprooting of the trees will impact the city’s green cover which was already thinning. According to the India State of Forest Report 2019, the green cover in non-forest areas in West Bengal had declined by 6.1 percent from 2136 sq km in 2017 to 2006 sq km.

Pollution levels to rise in Kolkata

There will obviously be a great impact on the pollution level, and the biodiversity of the city, the lives of many birds, animals, and insects.

Infact, environmentalists have said that Kolkata is staring at a rise in pollution levels post-lockdown due to the uprooting of thousands of trees in the city.

“The sheer scale in which the city has lost its greenery in the cyclone is staggering. With several trees decades old, the loss is irreparable. It will take years of concerted effort to get the greenery back. But I am not sure if that will compensate the loss,” said WWF state director Saswati Sen, reported media.


Siya Bhatia

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