Social Media Witnesses Debate on City's Green Cover
Even as the Metro Rail authorities are taking measures to plant trees at an available spot to make up for the ones felled for implementing the mega project, a major campaign to replace the green cover is gathering momentum on the social media.
Psychiatrist Dr C J John, who initiated a campaign on facebook said that a massive campaign was the need of the hour. “If the trees are felled mindlessly, the green cover that offers great solace would be lost forever. We need development but not at the cost of life. For instance, Bangalore city is complaining of oxygen-related problems, though there are still remnants of trees in the city. But that would not be the situation in a congested city like Kochi. If we do not take any steps to preserve the greenery, Kochi would soon have to bear the same fate,” he said.
Dr John said that in a congested city like Kochi, the huge trees help rejuvenate it. Hence, like the Metro Rail count down, count down should begin for the felling of trees and planting of saplings.
“There should be a proper account of the number of trees felled and a follow-up on the number of saplings planted and of course their maintenance.
The growth of the saplings should be assessed so that after three years, when the Kochi Metro Rail project is slated to materialise, we can ensure that they have shouldered their responsibility,” he said.
Ranjit Thampi, another Kochiite, has also initiated a campaign on his FB home page. Four photographs of trees at Maharaja’s College ground that will be felled soon have been uploaded with a status update ‘Last view of the trees which have given green cover to all the pedestrians and motorists on MG Road college ground. We have been enjoying the shade of these trees since our birth. It will be difficult to imagine MG Road college ground without the huge green cover. A tearful farewell to all the dear trees,” he posted.
In the discussions on the social networking site, people have expressed anxiety over the felling of trees. Though one person got solace from KMRL’s promise to plant tree saplings as a compensation, other said it would have been better if trees were planted in the city instead of Kakkanad.
Aju John Mathai commented on the social networking site that there was an agreement with the KMRL to plant numerous trees to compensate for the loss. If they do that properly the damage may be lessened.
In response to it, Ranjit Thampy commented, “Hope KMRL will fulfil the commitment given to the public. But it is equally important that they plant the trees inside the city and not in Kakkanad.”
Kochi Metro rail spokesperson said that the compensatory planting was being carried out on a large scale. “Though 477 trees were felled, excluding those in the casting yard, 2,000 saplings have been planted. The preparatory work for a green initiative is on and we can give a clear picture within two to three weeks,” she said.