The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) will plant around 15,000 saplings to compensate for the trees to be cut down for the Metro Rail project.

It will undertake forestation on large tracts of land belonging to Chennai Metrowater in Kodungaiyur and Koyambedu. The lands are adjacent to the sewage treatment plants of Metrowater.

According to officials of CMRL, Metrowater has agreed to the planting of saplings on a portion of over 700 acres of land in Kodungaiyur and around 60 acres in Koyambedu. Lands where construction will not be carried out in future by Metrowater have been identified for planting of saplings.

Planting of the first batch of saplings in Koyambedu will be completed in January.

The Urban Forestry Division of the Forest Department has been entrusted with the task of growing the saplings which would be planted after they reach the height of five to six feet. The planting of saplings in Kodungaiyur would be taken up after completing the work at Koyambedu site. The choice of trees would be based on the site conditions. Around 1,600 saplings of species such as pheltophorum and pungan are ready for planting at the Koyambedu site.

A total of 13,400 saplings will be planted by the CMRL in 2011-2012. The CMRL has also requested residents to point out availability of space in residential areas for tree plantation. Schools and colleges have also started to provide land for the tree-planting drive, said an official of CMRL.

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