30 trees in Siruvani road to be spared the axe
COIMBATORE: Bringing cheer to nature lovers and activists, the State Highways department has dropped its plan to cut down 48 trees to facilitate the expansion of the Sirvuani road. The department has accepted a suggestion made by environmentalists that 30 trees need not be cut and eight trees could be transplanted.
In December 2021, the State Highways department submitted a proposal at an outlay of Rs five crore to the district administration seeking permission to widen the road in junctions where accidents occur frequently. This was based on a police report prepared on the identification of black spots in the stretch. The department said 48 trees had to be felled to facilitate road expansion.
Activists objected to the plan and sent petitions to the government requesting to stop the felling of trees. District Collector GS Sameeran, who is authorised to pass such an order, asked officials to conduct a survey with the support of environmentalists and reduce the count of trees that needed to be felled.
K Syed of Osai, who has experience in relocating trees, was roped in by the Highways department to conduct the survey.
The department has accepted his suggestion and has sent a letter to the District Collector on February 15 stating 30 trees need not be cut. "The 30 trees are in boundaries of road expansion line. We just need to chop a few branches for the widening work. Also, we came to know that nine trees could be transplanted," said a senior official. So, finally, the number of trees that would be cut came down to 9 from 48, the officer added.
Syed said officials had identified 48 trees at Madampatti, Mathipalayam junction, Pooluvapatti, Alandurai High School junction and Iruttupallam junction to be cut. " Following the Collector's directions, we conducted a study and identified nine trees for transplantation," he said.
In 2018, the Siruvani road witnessed major expansion, and the Highways department came up with a plan to fell 144 of the 728 trees in the stretch. Following a three-tier survey along with environmentalists, the number was reduced to 49.