Kolkata: On May 20th, the day West Bengal and Kolkata were hit by the worst cycle in recent memory—Amphan- at around 5.30 pm a huge mango tree from our neighbour’s compound collapsed on our veranda. The 50 something-year-old tree is huge and the branches are spread across the terrace, a wall on the opposite side and another house.
As soon as the incident took place we called up the Disaster management, local councillor. The local councillor asked us to go out of our house and the disaster management told us they will contact us after the storm.
Councilor, minister, NDRF all contacted
Though nobody contacted us. We finally managed to contact Minister Bratya Basu. He sent us the Fire Brigade the day after. But they were not well equipped to handle the situation. Next came the civil defence. They somehow managed to cut down some branches from the terrace. The councillor visited us on Saturday. She said, Debasish Kumar or Subrata Mukherjee were not taking her call and asked us to try and do something on our own accord.
On Sunday even National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) came they said they were not well equipped to tackle the situation.
The councillor said that it is beyond her capacity and to contact the local MLA.
Issue of private property
The minister was again contacted. He sent a Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) engineer. The engineer agreed that the tree was in a precarious condition and he said that he will try but he has just notified us that the work cannot be done today and will take atleast 3 to 4 days as it is in private property and they have to look after the roads first.
The tree is still now in a precarious condition and we cannot go out of our house. KMC has further notified us a few minutes back that they cannot do the work now. They will take atleast 3 days as this is a private property.
Worry of another storm
And they have further notified us that they are certain that the tree wont collapse on the house! I really do not know how they are so sure when their engineer had notified the authority about the impending danger. We are very worried as this is an old house and we have elderly people living in this house here.
It is getting cloudy and there might be a storm again and we are just hoping that this tree will survive this storm and wont collapse on our home.
My address is: 23B Ekdalia Place, Near Bijon Setu, Kolkata- 700019