G.V. Residency is all about birdsong, tall trees and clean roads

Barely a kilometre away from the insanity that is Trichy Road, across a dirty drain, is G.V. Residency, a residential colony spread over 100 acres. It is several degrees cooler and the substantial green cover it has makes one ask, ‘why on earth are there not more areas such as this in the city?’

More than 2,000 trees grow tall and proud along its many roads and by-roads. Bougainvilleas in mustard, magenta and white add splashes of colour. About six acres make up its lung space. Residents say it was overgrown with scrub once. They got it cleared but the RTO occupied it. The residents did not give up. Over a weekend, they had the area cleaned. They dug trenches and planted saplings, 750 of them. Today, they are young trees, some of them tall enough to attract birds to build nests.

The saplings need looking after just initially. Once they take root, they are on their own. They are watered once a week and no chemical pesticides are used. There is no trace of litter in the public spaces. G.V. Residency has a door-to-door garbage collection system in place. Garbage is segregated and recycled. The G.V. Residency Residents’ association is extremely proactive and works hard to keep the colony clean and green.

Neem trees and Pongamia abound. R. Raveendran, a resident, says it makes good sense to plant native trees. These are very old species of Indian trees. He says they were chosen because of the magnificent shade they provide. He is irritated that people lay Korean grass for lawns and have ornamental palms. “These may be pretty to look at, but they are incapable of supporting even a single butterfly,” he exclaims.

Once in three months, the residents gather for a kar seva. They gather the leaves that have been shed and deposit them in designated areas where they are allowed to turn into mulch. They don’t burn the leaves, says Raveendran.

Birdlife has increased tangibly. As we speak, we spot a baby snake. Now, there are plans afoot to have a walkers’ path around the lung space. There are also plans for a butterfly park with shrubs and plants that they roost on. “It is everyone’s business to encourage birds, bees, butterflies and bats. They are indispensable for pollination and greening the environment,” says Raveendran.

How green is your neighbourhood? Write in to feedbackcbe@gmail.com if you know of any colonies in the city that take pride in their trees