Colombo Municipal Council to Hold Special Discussion on Dangerous Trees
Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Commissioner Badhrani Jayawardena has announced a crucial initiative to address the issue of hazardous trees aged 30 to 35 years and older within the city of Colombo. President’s Chief of Staff, Sagala Ratnayake, has directed her to take action in this regard. A special discussion involving tree experts is scheduled for Monday, October 9, with the participation of specialists from Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, the Forest Conservator General, and tree specialists.
The decision comes in the wake of a tragic accident that occurred on October 6, where an ancient banyan (nuga) tree on Duplication Road near the Liberty Roundabout in Kollupitiya fell onto a Sri Lanka Transport Board bus, resulting in the deaths of five individuals.
Commissioner Jayawardena emphasized the urgency of removing such dangerous trees from Colombo’s urban landscape, with the forthcoming discussion marking a significant step in this direction. She also revealed plans to seek assistance from the Air Force in the process of cutting and removing these trees.
Additionally, Jayawardena disclosed that she had held discussions with the Secretary of the Ministry of Wildlife, Forest Resources Conservation, requesting a comprehensive report on trees at risk of collapsing.
In response to the recent accident, Jayawardena highlighted the proactive measures taken by the Colombo Municipality. A dedicated 24-hour unit has been established to address the removal and control of hazardous trees. Collaboration with the fire brigade ensures the safe removal of such trees, with a focus on carefully “balancing” them to prevent accidents during the process.
Jayawardena cited a recent incident on Kannangara Mawatha, near Vihara Maha Devi Park, where prompt action prevented a tree from falling onto the road. The Municipal Council plans to intensify its tree inspections on the upcoming Monday to enhance safety within the city.