Staff Reporter

Chennai: Public Works Minister Durai Murugan on Wednesday planted a sapling on the site proposed for the new ‘tree park’ at Kotturpuram in Chennai.

The park would be developed by the Public Works Department to mark its 150th anniversary. About Rs.50 lakh would be spent on the park, to be spread over 5 acres along the banks of the river Adyar. The PWD has removed encroachments and levelled the site. The greening would be done in association with Nizhal, a voluntary organisation that promotes tree protection in urban areas.

The park would be fenced and walkways developed for visitors. A stretch of the Adyar bank would also be strengthened. Nizhal has proposed to develop the park as a tree learning centre for students. Residents in the locality and volunteers would be involved in maintaining the park. Tropical evergreen forest trees that are becoming scarce and plants with medicinal value would be grown in the park. The trees to be grown include kotukapilli (Pithecellobium dulce), naval (Syzium cumini), veera maram (Drypetes sepiaria), magizham (Mimusops elengi), poomaruthu (Lagerstromea speciosa), punnai (Calophyllum inophyllum), mantharai (Bauhinia purpurea) and malai vembu (Melia azadarach).