Roadside trees a menace in windstorms

KATHMANDU: At a time when the roadside trees are proving to be a menace for the commuters during windstorms, the authorities concerned are doing little to manage the trees lined up along the roads.

According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, on an average one or two casualties occur every year during windstorms. Two persons were killed when a tree crushed a microbus in Lalitpur yesterday.

"Following yesterday's accident, I have begun dreading trees," said Indra Rayamajhi of Anamnagar. "All the roadside trees should either be removed or be at a safe distance from the traffic," he added.

An MTPD official said it was the responsibility of Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Department of Roads to manage the trees along the roads. "We have informed the officials concerned about this several times," said sub-inspector Deepak Giri.

The trees, particularly the pipal, are vulnerable to strong winds. The trees are found in abundance on roadsections in Swoyambhu, Banasthali, Balaju and Gongabu areas. "The trees around the Narayanhiti Museum are equally prone to falling," said Giri.

Narayan Gopal Malego, executive chief, KMC, said the municipal body was responsible for managing the trees only in the inner city areas. "The DoR is responsible for managing the trees along the roads," he added. "We have removed or trimmed the old and risky trees that fall under our jurisdiction."

Krityanand Thakur, senior divisional engineer, DoR, said the Department was responsible for planting and managing the roadside trees. He added that there was pressure against felling the trees.