PATACHARKUCHI, Nov 20 - Following serious threat of land erosion posed by the Kalida river to one of the most ancient banyan trees of Jalikhata village under the Bajali subdivision, about five kilometres from here, an emergent public meeting was held in the area on November 18 which expressed serious concern over it. The people who attended the meeting appealed for adequate steps from the authorities concerned to preserve the tree scientifically.
The meeting was chaired by Jatin Das, a social worker of the locality.
It may be mentioned here that the tree covers around five bighas of land and is of 155 metres in height.
The local people believe that the tree is more than 200 years old. A few years back, the nature loving people of the locality celebrated the tree’s 200 years of birthday in order to make people aware about conservation of the same by cutting a huge cake under the tree on the World Environment Day.
The tree is one of the major points of attraction for the visitors, especially students of various educational institutions of the State for project work. Even people from various parts of the district visit the place for enjoying the beauty of the tree and the spot is also a centre of religious attraction as there is a Siva temple in the area.
“We have sought the help of botanists from Bajali College to ascertain the age of the banyan tree. After collecting some data on the tree, they have confirmed that the banyan tree is not less than 200-year-old,” said one of the nature lovers in the area.
This confirmation comes at a time when official reports have indicated that the entire northeastern region has lost about a huge area of forest cover.
“We believe that this banyan tree is also the oldest tree in the region. The tree is not only important because of the conservation point of view but also due to the traditional beliefs,” said some of the people of the area.
There is a tremendous social relevance of the banyan tree to the local people.