Mahbubnagar: Two years after being termite-infected, the 700-year-old great banyan tree of Telangana has breathed fresh life and is now back into healthy germination. A modern-organic treatment, with saline treatment, was administered up by the state forest department and the Mahabubnagar district officials to save its life.
The tree — touted by the state forest authorities as the second largest banyan tree in the world — is located on the outskirts of Mahbubnagar and is spread over three acres. It is locally called ‘Pillala Marri’ (children’s Banyan tree). With truck-like prop roots growing all over the compound, the officials couldn’t identify the mother root yet.
A major tourist attraction until 2017, a termite-infested branch of tree which was neglected by officials and vandalized by the tourists for decades, came crashing down. A month later, the then District Collector Ronald Rose decided to give a new lease of life to the tree and chalked out action plans in coordination with the officials of the Forest department.
At first, a trench was made around the root system and it was with diluted Chloropyrifos – mixing 20 milliliters of it for every one liter of water. However, it failed to fetch a desirable result. It was then, the department authorities stumbled upon the idea of injecting diluted insecticide into the tree like a saline drip.
Two years after the saline drips and proper ‘quarantine’, the grand banyan tree shows revival signs.
“As the branches were falling, green shoots were a rarity. But now we can see new leaves, which have a reddish tinge, sprouting at many places, the tree is sending a message of revival,” Chukka Ganga Reddy, the District Forest Offer told The Hindu.