Chennai

A natural synergy

Three snippets from the greening of Kotturpuram MRTS station

The Kotturpuram MRTS station proves “The Law of Synergy”, which suggests that you don’t get too far unless you match steps with the like-minded. Joint initiatives can also bog you down, unless these initiatives develop organically, and aren’t forced.

Over the years the MRTS station has been witness to initiatives that have achieved degrees of synergy, intended as well as accidental.

Miyawaki move

Right now, a remarkably huge open government land close to the the Kotturpuram MRTS station forms the focus of a Miyawaki urban afforestation exercise, started by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). While finding a space for any greening exercise is today a steep challenge, the Corporation seems to have chosen right by going in for this one, as it was overrun with construction debris, and made for a less-than-pleasant sight. By virtue of proximity, the space was not helping the look of the MRTS station. By clearing the debris and starting raising a Miyawaki urban forest, the Corporation could start an promising greening exercise in the heart of the city and also help Southern Railway’s cause.

Taking a cue

Taking a cue from Nizhal volunteers who had been engaged in a greening exercise at the station, auto drivers at what is called the “Kotturpuram-MRTS CITU auto stand” have started their own greening exercise, near where they park their vehicles.

Raghu, an auto driver, says that they received tree-planting technical guidance from Nizhal volunteers. They however went through the whole process and made their own decisions, which includes an innovative upcycled tree guard.

“We would have planted around 10 saplings and some of them failed. So, we took extreme care with the last exercise,” states Raghu. The last effort includes three saplings — syzygium cumini (naval pazham), terminalia catappa (Indian almond) and a pongamia pinatta — that stand protected by tree guards made of discarded concrete fences. Raghu explains that they found them lying in a space nearby. Smart upcycling indeed.

Old initiative

On the right side of the the main entrance to the station, there is a stand of trees, the result of a greening exercise carried out around eight years ago.

“In 2007, Nizhal started a tree-planting initiative at MRTS in partnership with the Southern Railway. The greening activity at the Kotturpuram MRTS station was carried out around eight years ago,” says Shobha Menon, founder-trustee, Nizhal.

Though any patch of green is always pleasant to the eyes, the garbage and squalor characterising the space where the stand of trees is found seems to take away from the effect.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 10:18:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/a-natural-synergy/article30770307.ece

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