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Chandigarh civic body to rope in private company to treat city’s mealybug affected trees

The MC officials heading the project told Chandigarh Newsline that the MC had completed the process of floating tenders for inviting companies and the work for the treatment would start soon.

Written by Jagdeep Singh Deep | Mohali | Published: November 28, 2019 7:43:16 am
chandigarh city news, chandigarh municipal corporation, chandigarh tree bugs, Punjab Agricultural University study, mealybug attacks An uprooted tree in Sector 15. (Express photo)

Following reports of mealybugs infestation on city’s trees, the Municipal Corporation (MC) has decided to rope in a private company for the treatment of the affected trees. The decision came after a Punjab Agricultural University’s study found out that the bugs had affected several trees in different areas across the city.

The MC officials heading the project told Chandigarh Newsline that the MC had completed the process of floating tenders for inviting companies and the work for the treatment would start soon.

“There were complaints from many areas that trees were affected and were dying due to mealybugs attack, mealybug can affect all kinds of trees, becoming a considerable danger for the growth of plantation. Trees in many parks and by roadside are infested by mealybugs and pose a danger to commuters too,” an officer of the MC’s Horticulture wing told Chandigarh Newsline.

The officer added that after the complaints of damage to trees, the MC got a study conducted at Punjab Agricultural University, which found that there was an urgent need for treatment of these trees.

S Chowdhary, who is the co-ordinator of Rose Garden Lovers Forum, a body which works for the protection of trees in Mohali, said, mealybug was like a cancer for trees, as it ate the trees from inside and made it weaker. He added that mealybugs were pests and survived on the juices of trees.

“You can say that mealybugs eat the lungs of a tree and damage it permanently. With a mealybug attack the trees become hollow from inside and can fall on the roads or in parks, it is a danger to the green cover as well to human beings,” S Chowdhary said.

Ward number 23 councillor Satbir Singh Dhanoa, who had raised the issue of infestation on trees in house meetings several times, said that the area most affected by mealybug infestation was Nature Park in Phase 8. “I raised the issue several times, but it is only now that the MC initiated work to treat the trees,” Dhanoa said.

He further said that around eight months ago, he had got many trees treated in Phase 8 area through a Chandigarh-based Non-Government Organisation (NGO), but even then there were hundreds of trees which were affected by mealybug. According to Dhanoa, termite treatment is also required as there trees were many trees affected with the
termite as well.

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