A massive 100-tonne Banyan tree, more than 70 years old, that fell four months ago due to torrential rains in the Sircilla district of Telangana has been saved by the efforts of some environmental activists.
The tree now stands behind the Sircilla Secretariat, transported about 6 km away from where it fell by a 'bahubali' crane. Rajya Sabha MP J Santosh Kumar, who is known for his green initiatives, arranged the transport with the help of K.T. Rama Rao, TRS minister from Sircilla.
The Banyan tree was uprooted four months ago due to unprecedented heavy rains in the outskirts of Suddala village in Sircilla. It stood in the agricultural land owned by Burra Bhumaiah Goud and Burra Ramesh Goud. Unable to access water after it fell, it started drying up.
A nature lover from the same village, Dr Dobbala Prakash, who believes in the dictum "Vriksha Rakshitah Raksha (If you protect the trees, the trees will protect you)" was upset that the tree which gave shelter to humans and birds alike had fallen.
He immediately spoke to farmers Bhumaiah and Ramesh and said he would transplant the tree to a different place. He also took permission from Dobbala Das, the owner of the neighbouring field, to draw water from his well.
Ramesh, who works as Telangana Sanskriti Sarathi at the Rajanna Sircilla PRO office, supplied water to the tree for two months while discharging his official duties. Dr Prakash's efforts yielded good results and the tree started sprouting new leaves. He continued his efforts with more vigour and the tree also responded well with a fresh growth of green leaves and shooting new roots. Finally, Dr Prakash decided that the tree should be replanted. He looked for donors for the operation.
That is when MP J Santosh Kumar, who had launched the Green India Challenge, promised Dr Prakash that it would be his responsibility to shift the tree to a safer place. Experts were brought in to remove the branches and ready the tree for replantation.
Mr Kumar tweeted a short video clip showing the process of transporting and replanting the tree. He called the experience "one of the most satisfying moments" in his life.
"One of the most satisfying moments in my life. A 70-year old huge banyan #Tree that had been uprooted due to heavy rains in sircilla was translocated with the help of @KTRTRS garu. When I brought this issue to his notice, he immediately instructed concerned officials," he said on Twitter.
One of the most satisfying moments in my life. A 70-year old huge banyan #Tree that had been uprooted due to heavy rains in sircilla was translocated with the help of @KTRTRS garu. When I brought this issue to his notice, he immediately instructed concerned officials.— Santosh Kumar J (@MPsantoshtrs) February 14, 2022
A special road was laid for the easy transportation of the tree from the Suddhala Village in Konaraopet Mandal to the new Collectorate office, 6 km away. A huge vehicle, that can transport a 100-tonne tree, and two massive cranes were used to transport the tree and replant it.
Two large branches from the mother tree were also planted at the Zilla forest area in the Tangannapalli Mandal.