All for widening just 5.25 km of roads
SALEM: The State Highways department is in the process of removing 304 trees to widen just about 5.25 km of roads in the city. Workers have already cut more than 20 massive trees, which are more than 100 years old.
The remaining will soon face the axe. This act, according to nature lovers, will severely affect the environment in the city. These trees are located in the following three road stretches selected for widening: Railway Junction-Fairlands police station, Kuranguchavadi-Three Roads and Three roads-Tiruvagoundanur bypass-Sooramangalam police station.
Highways officials said that they had obtained permission from the Revenue Divisional Office to remove the trees.
This distressing act takes place at a time when the government is spending crores of rupees on afforestation. But it has invited sharp reactions from the environmentalists.
"The trees have not only kept the climate in the area cool but also made the environment serene and beautiful. While the district administration is aggressively promoting the greening of the city, it is very sad to note that it has mindlessly permitted the cutting of 304 trees just to widen 5.25 km of roads," they said.
The officials could have erected tree guards and placed reflector signs to warn the road users.
"Though these stretches witness heavy traffic, widening them by killing 304 trees is unacceptable," environmentalists said.