The world’s second largest Banyan tree is on ‘saline drip’ as it is almost dying. The tree is located in Pillalamarri of Mahabubnagar district in Telangana and is now under rejuvenation process. The tree is on saline drip similar to a saline drip that is given to patients in the hospital. As per a report by the Times of India, the 700-year-old ficus tree is administered treatment by injecting a diluted chemical to kill termite population that has infested the tree. The forest officials, after failing to pump chemical directly into the stem, are now infusing the chemical solution drop by drop using saline bottles.
A tourist hotspot, the tree has been affected by termites resulting in parts of it falling off. It subsequently closed for tourists in December 2017. The giant tree has been given a saline drip of diluted chemical Chloropyrifos bottles that are hundreds in number and are placed every two metres. The officials have been adopting number of ways to protect the tree which is spread over more than three acres of land. They tried to dilute the Chlorpyrifos chemical and started pushing it into the stem by keeping holes, but failed. Later they started injecting solution like a saline drip, which proved to be an effective process. After that, they watered the roots with the diluted solution to kill the termites.
To give support to the collapsing heavy branches, the officials used a physical method of building concrete structures. This helped in holding the tree and its falling parts. Officials say that the presence of tourists led to roots being damaged. Now, these roots have been given artificial strength using pillars and pipes. Till December last year, the tree had a huge tourist attraction in the district. It was being guarded by the Tourism department. The forest department later took back the protection of the tree and is now working on rejuvenating it. District authorities barred tourists from visiting the Pillalamarri tree since last December.
Source: Financial Express