The beautification has been taken under the JNNURM

As a part of beautification of the arterial roads in the city, saplings have been planted along 14.5 km -- Siripuram Junction, Dutt Island, CBM Compound, VIP Road, CMR Central to Maddilapalem Road, Ambedkar Statue to Police Barracks, Jagadamba Junction to Apollo Hospital.

The Ficus Benjamina variety is a tall, shrub-like tree and grows up to 14 ft with dense foliage.

With many of the varieties, though the growth has been good, once it is beyond 15 ft, it is axed for electricity maintenance as it comes close to the wires.

“Another important aspect of the trees is that it has anti-glare qualities. Thus it helps in smooth and safe driving and pedestrians can also walk safely since vehicle drivers do not suffer the glare,” GVMC Horticulture Officer M. Damodar told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Also many of the shop-fronts are glass-paned and the trees provide some privacy to the shoppers as well as those working in the shops.

He cites the instance of an accident where a 36-year-old man crossing the road was killed hit by a two-wheeler last week.

The two-wheeler driver could not see the pedestrian owing to the thick growth of oleander trees planted there. When there is a 3 m gap between trees and they do not cast shadows it is safe for driving and pedestrians too, said Mr. Damodar.

The beautification was taken up under the JNNURM and instead of the 10 km proposed earlier, it now covered 14. 5 km.

The drive was initiated by B. Ramanjaneyulu and the saplings were planted between Raghavendra Swamy temple and Sampat Vinayak temple. After M.V. Satyanaryana took over the plantation was taken up extensively as priority was given to the drive. Now trees grew up between 4 and 6 ft.

Though 3,198 saplings were planted, about 20 per cent did not survive for a number of reasons.

Cattle in Peda Waltair and Andhra University area pull them out though they can not eat and digest it.

There are stray incidents some people carting them away in cars. Some were destroyed while parking and reversing cars or two-wheelers or municipal workers being careless in drain or BRTS road work.

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