TIRUPATI: The forest wing of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has come to the rescue of 193 trees, 163 of which are red sandalwood, that were among the 2,300 trees set to be cleared for the widening of Cherlopalli-Alipiri Road.
The TTD officials said they will be translocating the 193 trees, many of which are decades-old, located on the six kilometre-long stretch in a phased manner. Other species that will be translocated are sacred fig, banyan, neem, tamarind, arjuna, vippa chettu and madhuka.Also, the clearing of another 940 of the 2,300 trees on the stretch was prevented after a minor tweak in the alignment of the project, reducing the extent of the damage to be caused to the green cover of the region, the officials claimed.
“The authorities had given nod for the felling of 2,300 trees. To decrease the damage as much as possible, we changed the alignment slightly to save another 940 trees,” a senior forest official explained. He added 500-600 red sanders trees would be axed down, which will be sent to the forest storage yard. “Around 163 red sanders trees will be translocated and replanted in three different places.” Between February 23 and 29, the department replanted 10 trees in the forest area adjacent to Aravind Eye Hospital.
TTD divisional forest officer (DFO) Chandra Sekhar said every required measure is being taken to safely replant the trees. “The cost of transplanting a tree is around `25,000. On a trial basis, 10 trees were transplanted, and their health is being regularly monitored.” One of the major worries in the uprooting and replanting of trees is to ensure their survival even when summer is set to begin. “We are following a wait-and-watch policy. To compensate for the loss in the green cover, the TTD is planting 20 saplings for each axed tree. The saplings are being planted in the Seshachalam forest region and Tirumala,” the DFO said