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Avenue trees give way to roads

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PATCHWORK: Concrete patches fill the road space where trees existed on Sardar Patel Road near Raj Bhavan. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
PATCHWORK: Concrete patches fill the road space where trees existed on Sardar Patel Road near Raj Bhavan. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Swahilya

Tree Vigil Group petitions Chennai Corporation on the issue

Chennai: Several trees, which once lined the Besant Avenue Road, Kotturpuram, and the Sardar Patel Road, have been cut over the past few weeks. The spots where the trees stood have been laid with cement.

Tree Vigil Group, a residents' association in Besant Nagar, has filed a petition to the Corporation under the Right To Information Act, seeking details on the operation.

Sharadha Shankar of the group said that according to their information, 54 trees five on Besant Avenue, 20 on Sardar Patel Road and 29 in Kotturpuram have been felled since January.

Senior Chennai Corporation officials said that the trees were not cut, but were being transplanted by the Highways Department, which maintains the roads.

The traffic police had requested the Highways Department to move the trees and widen the roads.

The traffic along the stretches, which carry vehicles to the IT Corridor, has increased manifold in recent times.

Some months ago, a youth lost his life when the two-wheeler he was riding hit a tree jutting out of the Besant Avenue Road.

Clear rules sought

Tree enthusiasts say that the problem can be countered by laying out clear traffic regulations on avenue roads.

Dr. V. Shantha of Adyar Cancer Institute said trees were absolutely necessary for the environment.

She plans to persuade the IIT - Madras, the CLRI and Anna University to participate in efforts to protect trees from being felled. G. Dattatri, former Chief Urban Planner, who is now an advisor to Nizhal, an organisation that seeks to promote the tree culture, said they were working on a scheme to be presented to the Corporation, on road development without felling trees.

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