Gangtok, September 15
A hundred year old Tunee tree fell down today here near Raj Bhawan gate at Zero Point around 10:45 am causing huge damage to many vehicles. A car of a Divisional Engineer, PWD was also damaged along with severe injury to DE Tensung Lepcha, 50 years and his driver Nirmal Chettri, 35 years who are currently admitted in the STNM Hospital.
While speaking to media Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) East N.T Bhutia informed that the SK 01G 0407 Bolero was going towards PWD office at Zero Point during which suddenly the tree fell and damaged the vehicle, DE Tensung Lepcha and his driver Mr. Nirmal Chettri who were inside it, were injured in the accident. After almost ten minutes the local people residing in the area rescued both the occupants from the vehicle and rushed them to STNM hospital for necessary treatment. The driver sustained serious injuries during the accident.
Adding more Bhutia further said that the forest rescue team, police team and traffic police team reached the spot of accident and started the rescue work. A total of 25 rescue team of forest department stared that rescue work and with in 30 minutes the road jammed was cleared.
The tree damaged four vehicles but among them two vehicles bearing No. SK 01- P 3656 and SK 01-0886 was parked inside the premises of Handloom and Handicraft department and vehicle bearing No SK 01 -0625 while coming from Vajra was lightly damaged as the damaged Bolero dashed it. Due to the sudden felling of that old tree BSNL’s telephone along with cable line has been disconnected which will be restored soon. 100% trees at Raj Bhawan premises are above 100 years but without permission of Raj Bhawan authority the forest department can not cut down any of the tree. Bhutia on behalf of the forest department has requested Raj Bhawan authorities for granting permission to cut down old trees to avert any further damages or casualties. He further said that the department of forest has two German made electric saws which can cut any tree within minutes and in addition to that the department has also setup rescue team consisting of 25membres. The forest department has also started cutting down trees in phased manners but due to traffic problems currently they are unable to carry out the program.