An image of the Gulmohar tree being transplanted at Shivaji Park (inset) the fallen tree

The story of a ‘VIP’ gulmohar tree

3 minutes, 35 seconds Read

Mumbai: On Sunday, a gulmohar tree in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park collapsed round midnight.

The G North Administrative ward, underneath whose jurisdiction Shivaji Park falls, acquired an pressing notification from the management room. The garden division of the Mumbai civic physique was galvanised into motion, and by 3.30 pm Monday, the uprooted tree was transplanted to a different spot a couple of toes away. However why would one tree get a lot consideration?

For the Brihanmumbai Municipal Company (BMC) — which the Shiv Sena helmed for 25 years till an administrator took over in March this yr — the tree was in contrast to another. It was a VIP, planted a long time in the past by Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

Chatting with ThePrint, former Shiv Sena corporator Vishakha Raut mentioned, “Balasaheb and Ma saheb (Thackeray’s spouse Meena Thackeray) had planted the tree, so it had a whole lot of sentimental worth for us. The administration additionally agreed that it was vital to save lots of and protect the tree, and acted swiftly.”

“We have now carried out every thing we may. Now, we hope it survives,” she mentioned, including that she and different Shiv Sena leaders similar to former Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar had reached the spot to take inventory Monday morning. 

The VIP gulmohar tree

For years, there was a plaque in entrance of the tree declaring that the “Gulmohar tree was planted by the Honourable Shiv Sena Chief Balasaheb Thackeray along with his personal arms”. 

After Thackeray’s dying in 2012, the tree was included within the premises of a small memorial constructed for the Shiv Sena founder at Shivaji Park. 

On Thursday, a couple of of the newly sworn-in state cupboard ministers from the insurgent Shiv Sena camp visited the Thackeray memorial and in addition took inventory of the transplanted tree. They directed G North ward authorities to take each step attainable to make sure that the tree survives, an official from the ward workplace informed ThePrint.

Raut, who stays loyal to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, criticised the ministers’ curiosity within the tree as “Varati maagun ghoda“. (A horse that has come after the whole marriage ceremony procession has handed). 

Raut mentioned, “We promptly reached the spot and took care of the tree. None of them thought of it on the time.”

An official from the civic physique’s garden division informed ThePrint that the tree was an unique number of the gulmohar.

“The gulmohar was very talked-about at one time due to its fiery pink blooms in the course of the summers. Many individuals would plant it. Nevertheless, in our expertise, the survival charge of transplanted gulmohar bushes has been the worst,” he mentioned.

“The bushes which are broken within the metropolis on account of excessive climate are additionally often gulmohar bushes. The tree can not take a whole lot of city stress. Nonetheless, now we have carried out our greatest and are monitoring the tree day by day,” he added.

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How did BMC transplant the tree? 

The official from the garden division mentioned that the whole operation of transplanting the tree required a workforce of 12-15 folks, most of them horticulturalists and officers from the division itself, and some from the BMC’s electrical and upkeep division as a result of there have been additionally some electrical traces and water pipes on the spot.

“We first trimmed the branches to cut back the load of the tree after which trimmed the broken roots to minimise the possibilities of the tree being contaminated. There are some root well being boosters that we utilized on the great roots. We selected a brand new, appropriate location about 4 or 5 toes away from the present one,” he mentioned.

The BMC then dug a pit about 5 toes deep on the new location and replanted the uprooted tree in it. The civic physique utilized a nutrient paste on the trimmed branches to spur progress. “As it’s continuously raining, the possibilities of the tree surviving are sturdy,” the official mentioned. 

“Our employees has been usually visiting the spot and monitoring the tree,” he added.

(Edited by Siddarth Muralidharan)

Additionally Learn: ‘God of Mumbai heritage is in small particulars’ – BMC is bringing again metropolis’s outdated avenue furnishings



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