May 14, 2021 2:22:09 am
After a hiatus of over two decades, Laburnums have started making their presence felt at Laburnum Road – the historic street in Gamdevi named after the yellow flowers, much to delight of the residents as well as passers-by.
During the British era, a row of Indian Laburnum trees, also known as golden chain trees, were planted on the road, which is home to the historic Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi once lived. However, with the old trees withering away, the flowers too had stopped blooming a couple of decades back.
To bring back the distinct identity of the road, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) last year appointed an in-house horticulturist to come up with a revival plan. Following this, around 10 saplings were planted on the street. The effort started bearing fruit in a year’s time.
Prashant Gaikwad, officer for BMC’s D-ward, which the road falls under, said, “We planted Laburnum saplings last year and took every effort to ensure that they survive and that flowers bloom. And they have bloomed for the first time after many years and hopefully, it (the road) will regain its old glory.”
Dattaraj R Mahimkar, a resident of the street, is delighted. “Laburnums are flowering on the Laburnum Road after a very long time. Old-timers living here have vivid memories of the road being lined with these trees, with the flowers growing in abundance. The road was named after these trees. But somehow, they did not survive later on,” he said.
Another resident, Dr Jayant Sathe, said, “The proliferation of high-rises in the vicintity meant that these trees did not get adequate sunlight, which caused them to slowly wither away. Thankfully, for the first time after a long gap, the trees have survived and flowers are blooming.”
Throwing light on the history of the road, Bharat Gothoskar of the Khaki Heritage Foundation said, “In 1910, the Bombay Improvement Trust (BIT), which had planned the city, named this road after the row of Laburnum trees that abutted it. These trees were planted by the British people.”
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