Vadodara: When the century-old Baobab tree came crashing down in the Subhanpura recently, most locals had no idea about the rarity of this African variety which was one of its kind in the city. But Baobab wasn’t the only rare tree standing tall in the Banyan City that is home to many such unique trees.
Now, two Barodians have taken it on themselves to document each such rare tree in the city limits. “Baobab was in the city for over 125 years but very few knew about this giant tree that was 50 foot tall. If the civic body had knowledge about it would have made efforts to conserve the tree. We have begun documenting such rare trees with unique qualities,” said Dr Jitendra Gavali, director of Community Science Centre (CSC). Gavali and another environmental activist, Hitarth Pandya are studying each tree, measuring its height, girth, location, flowering season and importance along with its native place. “Once we document these trees, we will initiate a movement to conserve them. As the locals aren’t aware of the uniqueness of such trees, they usually prefer to cut them ,” Gavali told TOI. He said Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) did not respond to their proposal to take up this study under Smart City earlier.
“We have already documented about 20% of the rare trees. It is a first-of-its-kind exercise in the city that has one of the densest green cover in the state. Some of these trees have medicinal value too, Pandya said.
Many centurion trees in the city have been chopped off due to ignorance of locals and apathy of the civic body over the years. One such century-old neem tree near Kirti Mandir was pruned and later cut down three years ago.