New Delhi: The Amphan cyclone which hit West Bengal a day before the International Day for Biological Diversity on Friday has severely damaged the world’s largest banyan tree in the Howrah botanical garden.Also Read - Cyclone Amphan: West Bengal Farmers Stare at Catastrophic Losses in Aftermath of Superstorm
This cyclone has also uprooted one of the two ‘kalpvriksha’, having botanical name as olea cuspidata and also known as wild olive, brown olive or Indian olive, in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in Howrah, Allahabad-based scientist Shiv Kumar of Botanical Survey of India on Friday. Also Read - Rs 1000 Cr For West Bengal, 500 Crore For Odisha: PM Modi Announces Aid For Cyclone Amphan Ravaged States
Kumar said the Howrah’s botanical garden has the world’s largest banyan tree aged 342 years with the circumference of its core stem once measuring 15 metre and that of its peripheral stem now measuring over 1.08 km, said Kumar. Also Read - Until we Can Smile Together Again! Shah Rukh Khan Sends Out Prayers to Those Affected by Cyclone Amphan
The core stem had been removed in 1925 and the tree now stands only on its external peripheral stems, solely comprising of shoots emanating from its branches and taking roots in the ground, said Kumar, who worked as a scientist in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in Howrah from October 2006 to February 2012.
The picture of the tree after the Thursday’s cyclone shows that Amphan has badly damaged the density of the tree’s peripheral stem and branches, said Kumar, adding the extent of the exact damage could be ascertained only after its closer inspection.
The Botanical Survey of India uses the picture of this tree as its logo, said Kumar. The banyan tree also happens to be India’s national tree.