Vadodara Deadly Conocarpus Trees: A Growing Threat Exceeding 24,000 – Municipal Chairman’s Plan

The Municipal Corporation in Vadodara is finally taking action to remove the much-debated Conocarpus trees that have been a topic of discussion for several years. Around 24 thousand Conocarpus trees were planted in the city at a substantial cost. These trees were initially planted in 2017 under the supervision of the then Municipal Commissioner. However, today, Conocarpus trees pose significant health hazards and contribute to excessive groundwater depletion. Consequently, a ban on planting these trees has been enforced.

The urgent need to uproot these Conocarpus trees is to minimize the health risks faced by the city’s residents. The current chairman acknowledges this, but he estimates that it will take three to four years to complete the removal process. In response, the opposition is calling for immediate removal of these trees and demanding action against the responsible officers.

Chandrakant Srivastav, the former opposition leader and current councilor of Vadodara Mahanagarpalika, has raised concerns about the Conocarpus trees that were planted without consulting the public. He highlights that these trees pose a significant threat to the health of Vadodara’s citizens, and there have been discussions about their removal. He questions the decision-making process, pointing out that the officer responsible for planting these trees in the name of the smart city initiative did not consult with the director of the garden branch or seek input from knowledgeable individuals in the forest department.

With approximately 24,000 Conocarpus trees now present in the city, they have been depleting the city’s water resources. This has led to various health issues among the population, and the trees have grown significantly. Chandrakant Srivastav’s concerns highlight the importance of considering the impact of such initiatives on the well-being of the city’s residents and involving relevant experts in decision-making processes.

The forest department has now called for the immediate removal of these trees, emphasizing the urgency of the situation. Chandrakant Srivastav further states that despite this recommendation, there has been no significant progress in removing the trees. He questions why no action has been taken against the official responsible for this decision, which has harmed the city and compromised the health of its citizens.

Additionally, Chandrakant Srivastav highlights a concerning pattern where this official has been involved in demolishing people’s houses and shops in the name of road widening projects. Despite these actions, the official goes to court, and the corporation ends up paying the compensation. This raises questions about accountability, where officers engage in damaging actions, and the burden ultimately falls on the corporation, funded by taxpayers. Chandrakant Srivastav argues that it is unfair for the corporation to use citizens’ tax money to compensate for the actions of such individuals.

Elected representatives should have the courage to bring forward a proposal for the immediate removal of Conocarpus trees, which have inflicted harm upon the city. On multiple occasions, I have emphasized the need to take action against those responsible for this situation. By endorsing the proposal and securing government funding, these individuals have caused harm to the city. We strongly advocate for a proposal to recoup the expenses incurred in planting and removing Conocarpus trees. Our unequivocal demand is for the immediate removal of these Conocarpus trees.

Dr. Sheetal Mistry, the permanent chairman of Vadodara Municipal Corporation, explained that the planting of 24,000 Conocarpus trees in the city was part of the Mission Million Tree initiative. This decision was made because Conocarpus trees are known for their efficient water usage and rapid growth, contributing to a healthier green cover in the area. However, recent reports have highlighted some concerning aspects of Conocarpus trees, including their increased water absorption, pollen causing asthma, and roots damaging underground infrastructure. In response to these concerns, the forest department has imposed a ban on further plantation of Conocarpus trees.

Dr. Sheetal Mistry, the permanent chairman of Vadodara Municipal Corporation, acknowledges that it will take time to ensure that the city’s green cover does not decrease. As a precautionary measure, the Corporation has suspended the planting of any new trees. Any trees that are planted will be pruned severely, reducing the nutrients available to the roots and limiting root growth. This action is aimed at preventing damage to underground infrastructure and decreasing the occurrence of asthmatic diseases. The process of addressing this issue needs to be gradual. Despite the harmful nature of these trees, the chairman has outlined a plan to gradually remove them over the course of three to four years.

What is the history of Conocarpus?

The Conocarpus tree, native to North America, South America, and various African countries, has an interesting history. It was originally planted in an Arabian country on sand dunes, primarily with the goal of pollution control. The tree’s deep-rooted nature made it well-suited to thrive in sandy environments. Conocarpus trees can grow to heights ranging from 12 to 20 feet, but in urban areas, their height is typically maintained at 3 to 6 feet.

It’s important to note that like any other plant or tree, Conocarpus trees also contribute to oxygen production. Vadodara Municipal Corporation adopted this tree as part of its efforts to enhance green cover and address environmental concerns. However, it’s worth mentioning that there are numerous native plant species, such as jasmine, champa, and ardoosi, that also provide valuable benefits. In the broader context, no tree is inherently “bad,” as all trees play a role in supporting the environment and ecosystem.

Pollination from Conocarpus trees can indeed pose health problems, as they increase water absorption from the soil and their pollen can be detrimental. Proper trimming can prevent flowering, but once the tree has grown and started flowering, it can become susceptible to diseases. In planning for the future, it’s advisable to prioritize the use of native seedlings when considering the planting of trees or plants, as they are typically better suited to the local environment and are less likely to cause health issues related to pollen or other factors.

There is evidence to suggest that Conocarpus tree pollination in the Iranian region has triggered asthma attacks in many individuals. Subsequent research has confirmed that the pollination of Conocarpus trees can have adverse effects on human health. In response to this health concern, efforts were made to cut down these trees to prevent further Conocarpus pollen release in the area. Following the removal of the trees, the incidence of asthma attacks subsided. This serves as a clear example of how Conocarpus trees can have potentially fatal consequences if not properly managed and pruned to prevent pollen dissemination.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.