It is a known fact that trees are felled down to build roads, but in Arunachal Pradesh, people of a village hope that the State’s tallest tree would help build a road towards their village.
A report published on Saturday by The Hindu stated that residents of Kallek village in Siang district of Arunachal have developed a track to the State’s largest tree – Atang Ane – which is almost 65 metres tall.
The trekking track has been developed by 14 households in Kallek village.
According to the report, the tree attracts a variety of birds which would popularise trekking enough for the local authorities to act on their 20-year-old promise to pave the road from the highway to the village.
The Kallek village is inhabited by people from the Adi community.
The village is located 48 km away from Pasighat, the Siang district headquarters. The last 10 km from the highway to the village is marked by a tough and hilly terrain.
The report quoted Tamang Tamuk, the head ‘gaon burah’ (village elder) of Kallek as saying: “Atang Ane, which has grown into a huge tree today was once a fragile sapling, brought here from Myanmar. It was planted by a village elder.”
Atang Ane (Ficus elastica) means ‘mother rubber tree’ in the Adi dialect.
The largest multi-trunk tree spreads over an area of 59.8 m.
The report quoted Gandhi Darang, who runs Ane Siang Tours & Expeditions in Itanagar as saying: “The trek from Kallek to Atang Ane is not just about gawking at a huge tree. It is also a birdwatchers’ paradise.”
As per the report, the birds seen in the area include the great hornbill (the State bird), sunbird, white-tailed robin, barwing, collared treepie, parrotbill, and shrike babbler.
It has been reported that 252 species of bird were recorded in the Siang region during a six-year study that ended in 2016 out of which 66, including six endangered ones, were reported for the first time.