If all goes as planned, by August, 1,200 saplings will be planted along Mettupalayam Road for 3.3km.
‘Solai Vanam,’ an initiative by the Coimbatore District Road Protection Association, took off here on Friday. The association members plan to plant eight feet tall saplings from Sanganur Bridge to NGGO Colony.
According to the secretary of the association M. Devendran, the Mettupalayam Road was widened into a four-lane one about a year ago.
The National Highways took up road widening works for 20km from Stock Exchange to Narashimanaickenpalayam at a cost of Rs. 49.7 crore.
As many as 840 trees were pulled down on either side of the road during the widening works, mostly on the 11.6km stretch from Sai Baba Temple junction to Narashimanaickenpalayam.
This is the main road used by visitors to The Nilgiris and it had trees on either side. With the widening works over, the association has decided to restore the green over on the road.
As an initial effort, it has decided to plant a sapling for every 15 feet on either side of the road and flowering shrubs on the median.
One of the industries, the Aqua Group, has come forward to maintain the trees and the public in the area have also expressed support to the initiative. Though 840 trees were felled, the association has decided to go in for more trees on the road. It will take up another 3 km in the second phase.
One of the commercial outlets on the stretch has come forward to maintain the trees on one km in the second phase, he says.
The local body recently executed the underground drainage project on the road.
The saplings will be planted leaving enough space for pipelines and ducts.
The association has taken the approval of the National Highways Authority of India for the works.
“This is an effort by the people, the Government, and the association,” he adds.
District Collector M. Karunagaran, Mayor S.M. Velumsamy and officials of the Highways Department participated in a function organised on Friday to launch the tree planting drive.