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Library in New Town to learn about trees

The three acre plot for the library is in Action Area 1D

By Brinda Sarkar in Calcutta

  • Published 2.08.19, 3:44 AM
  • Updated 2.08.19, 3:44 AM
The entrance to the tree library in Action Area 1D.
The entrance to the tree library in Action Area 1D. Picture by Debasmita Bhattacharjee

A “tree library” has come up in New Town where, like in a library of books, visitors will be able to familiarise themselves and find basic information about trees.

The three acre plot for the library is in Action Area 1D. If travelling from Kolkata Gate to Balaka Abasan, the plot is on the left hand side. It was inaugurated on Wednesday by officials of Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco), New Town Kolkata Development Authority, forest department and pollution control board.

The dignitaries planted 13 saplings behind which were written the trees’ common name, botanical name, the name of the person planting it and the date of planting. There were trees like arjun, karanja, amlaki, jarul and rubber installed.

“How many urban youths can identify a tree these days? They won’t even know the difference between Krishnachura and Radhachura. If they are not familiar with trees how will they protect them?” asked

Debashis Sen, chairman cum managing director of Hidco. “This library would be the first step to building a relationship with greenery.”

The residents of Snehodiya, the senior citizen’s home nearby, have also been roped in. “The idea is to leave the world to the next generation as good as, if not better than, what we received. So who better to hand down the wealth of trees to the youth than our elderly citizens?” Sen said, adding that Snehodiya residents would henceforth be planting a tree each here.

One Snehodiya resident proud to be planting a tree was Rita Chattopadhyay, a Sanskrit professor at Jadavpur University. “In the

Vrikshayurveda treatise, it is mentioned that the value of digging 10 wells is equivalent to that of creating a small water body. Creating 10 small water bodies is equivalent to creating a lake. Creating 10 lakes is equivalent to begetting a son. And 10 sons are equivalent to one tree. This is how precious plants are and I’m delighted to be a part of this ceremony today,” said Chattopadhyay, planting a karanja.

Hidco chief Debashis Sen plants a tree with residents of Snehodiya senior citizen’s home.
Hidco chief Debashis Sen plants a tree with residents of Snehodiya senior citizen’s home. Picture by Debasmita Bhattacharjee

Kalyan Rudra, chairman, state pollution control board, shared how on a trip to the high altitude Ladakh, a friend developed breathing problems and had to buy a cylinder of oxygen. “It had cost him Rs 400 and lasted about half an hour. By that calculation round-the-clock oxygen would cost us Rs 19,200 a day! So I urge everyone to save plants that provide us oxygen for free.”

B.P. Gopalika, principal secretary, forest department, and Siddhartha Balari, principal chief conservator of forests, praised the pocket nursery and said there was a need to to develop greenery outside traditional forests.

“While crossing New Town we get the feeling of entering a new and modern city and this tree library will add to that image,” said Prabhat Mishra, principal secretary, department of environment.

Forest range officer Biswanath Sengupta said that the library would have space to hold 1,100 to 1,200 trees which would be looked after by the forest department. 

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