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|NPC executes precautionary trimming of huge tree|
|Sunday, 15 July 2012 19:56|
THE National Parks Commission (NPC), which falls under the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, yesterday conducted an exercise described as a signature move.
After assessing several trees along Vlissengen Road in the vicinity of the Zoological Park and the Office of the President, the NPC decided to trim one tree towering several feet into the air.
Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle at the exercise yesterday morning, Deputy General Manager of the National Parks Commission, Soren Griffith, said the NPC decided to trim that tree because it showed signs of deterioration. He said the NPC has been assessing the tree for some time, especially with the recent incidents of trees coming down during heavy downpours and high winds.
Mr. Griffith said the NPC has adopted the proactive approach in dealing with trees, as against having to deal with the many problems when trees fall.
He cited the presence of a generator room below the tree which was trimmed yesterday in declaring that, had that tree fallen, it would have affected the power supply to the Zoological Park and the surrounding areas since the generator room controlled the power network for the zoo.
The tree was not cut down in yesterday’s operation, as the NPC took a decision to trim excess branches.
Maintenance of other trees will be one of the priorities of the NPC, Griffith disclosed. The National Parks Commission sought the assistance of the Guyana Fire Service, Police Traffic Department, and the Office of the President in conducting its exercise yesterday.
The Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) disconnected the power supply to the area for the duration of the exercise, while traffic officers placed traffic cones between Vlissengen and North roads and Vlissengen and Regent roads. That arrangement saw traffic heading south along Vlissengen Road turning off North Road, while traffic heading North along Vlissengen Road diverted onto Regent Street.
Since there were no cones or indication that the works were being done at the location, traffic that was headed east along Regent Road was forced to either make u-turns at the junction of Regent and Vlissengen roads, or turn south onto Vlissengen and east onto Homestretch Avenue to get onto Mandela Avenue in order to access Sheriff and other streets in Kitty or Campbellville.
The trimming of the tree was made easy with the assistance of a massive piece of technical equipment from the Guyana Fire Service in the form of a “long Arm”, which was used to hover over the tree and access hard-to- reach limbs.
“We also wrote to the Fire Service and they loaned us this technical piece of equipment in the form of the long arm, so that we would get access to the top of the tree,” Griffith explained. He said that at the moment the National Parks Commission is in the process of monitoring and assessing several other trees along that stretch of Georgetown, and those deemed a threat will either be brought down or trimmed as necessary.
Once identified, a day will be set aside to work on the trees in an effort to make the area much safer.
Earlier this year, a tree located in front of the Office of the President crashed down during a heavy downpour of rain accompanied by high winds, almost crushing a taxi driver in the process. Luckily, only a few limbs of the tree landed on the car, causing some damage.
That same day, Deputy City Engineer Lloyd Allen had disclosed the council’s position that the trees along Vlissengen Road, Main Street, Camp Street and Avenue of the Republic should be assessed, and those which are not sturdy should be brought down. Alleyne had stressed that the trees are years old but continue to stand without any treatment or assessment.
Not so long ago, another tree located at the entrance to the Zoological Park came crashing down, but no one was hurt or injured in that incident.
Last November, a tree came crashing down during heavy rains and high winds, landing on a two-bedroom shack located on a squatting dam in East La Penitence. That incident claimed the life of a five-year-old girl.
Almost two weeks later, another tree a short distance from where that incident had occurred fell just minutes after a homeowner had departed his home for the barber’s. That tree had destroyed that homeowner’s home.
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