University authorities say step necessary to avoid risk of accidents
The cutting down of an old Krishnachura tree inside Dhaka University (DU) has drawn widespread criticism on social media, particularly from former and current students of the university.
The Krishnachura (Caesalpiniapulcherrima aka Peacock Flower) tree, which was over 60 years old, was located at the eastern corner of the Arts building of the university, just beside the DU proctor’s office.
Md Nurul Haque, a third-year student of the university, said: "It is regrettable that the university authorities have cut down a tree overnight, one which has been enhancing the beauty of the campus for over half a century. By this act, the authorities have shown their non-democratic character again.”
Tree lovers have become more vocal on virtual platforms against the decision of cutting down the tree, which has provided shade to students on their way to the library or Madhur Canteen.
Monirul Islam, a former student of the university, on his Facebook post said: “I don’t feel like going to my university campus these days. The gutless people in the university’s administration cannot maintain the campus properly; rather they cut down trees and increase their business. This is so disheartening… let the curse of the Krishnachura tree be their fate.”
However, the Dhaka University authorities claimed that the tree was cut down on Wednesday morning after several attempts, as it was getting risky for passersby with its roots below the surface coming out into the open.
Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani said: “The tree was cut down by following all due procedures after the Arboriculture Centre of the University conveyed its decision.”
Professor Mihir Lal Saha, director of the Arboriculture Centre, said: “The tree’s roots beneath the surface came out of the ground. It was tilted and could have been uprooted on its own at any time, which could have led to a dangerous accident,”
In this context, the dean of the Faculty of Arts gave me a letter urging me to take action regarding the tree, the professor said. “We later inspected the location and found the tree to be posing a risk.”
However, a comparatively smaller but more attractive similar tree will be planted at the same location soon, he added.
Professor Mihir confirmed that the tree had not been cut down for any construction work to be undertaken at the spot.