27-year-old tree saved from development axe
By P. Oppili
CHENNAI SEPT. 28. The first casualty whenever independent houses are sold to flat promoters, especially in the city, is tree.
Repeated attempts by the Forest department and the Chennai Corporation to stop cutting of trees has proved futile.
Here is a good example. A resident of AJ Block, IV Main Road, Shanthi Colony, Anna Nagar recently sold the property to a building promoter. Before handing over the property, the original owner felt that the 27-year-old Vilvam tree inside the house should not be chopped. However that would not be possible, given the requirements of the new building and therefore, he arrived at a compromise, along with the promoter. Both of them agreed that the tree could be saved if it was transplanted to the rear side of the house. And it has survived.
After a thorough study, B.Ilango of Jeyam Landscape Consultants shifted the tree from its original place to it new location, behind the house.
The work began with pruning of the tree's branches, followed by applying of fungicides on the cut portions to protect tree from decaying, Mr Ilango said.
Roots of the tree had dug in until a depth of eight feet, and as a peculiarity of the species, the roots had spread out laterally. A five by five feet pit, was then dug in the new location. A crane was used to shift the tree.
In the beginning, the crane shook the tree gently to loosen the roots. Then the soil around the root was bound with rubber tubes, so that the roots were still intact along with the soil, according to Mr Ilango. After completing this work, the tree was shifted to the new place within the compound.
Shifting alone took more than six hours and once it was completed, attention was paid to
post-shift care, in order to ensure that the tree survived. The damaged portions were plastered with cow dung and covered with gunny bags. Above the gunny bags, straw was packed around the tree mainly to protect it from termites or any other diseases attack, he added.
The work was completed about two months ago and already, leaves have begun appearing in some of the branches of the tree, which is a slow growing species.
For transplanting alone, the cost worked up to Rs. 4,000 only. "The cost escalated because initially an earth mover was hired to do the work. But, as it was not helpful, we had to hire a crane which took nearly six hours to shift the tree and this hiked the price," Mr.Illango said.
A couple of years ago two 50-year-old trees, a neem and a date palm were transplanted inside the C.P.Ramaswamy Iyer Foundation at Alwarpet. At that time the organisation spent about Rs 7,000 for the work.
These cases show that development activities can be taken up without actually cutting down well-grown trees. The State Government can use the similar technology, while widening the road, be it on the National Highway or on the State Highways, environmental activists recommended. However, those who bag the contract have to ensure the survival of grown-up trees on the highways by transplanting them, they added.
CNG network in Gujarat
By Our Special Correspondent
GANDHINAGAR Sept. 28. The southern and central parts of Gujarat are expected to be ready with a network of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations by the end of the next year for use in the transport sector.
The State-owned Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation managing director, D. J. Pandian, said the laying of a pipeline from the gas fields in south Gujarat was already in progress and was expected to reach Ahmedabad by April, next year. At least 111 outlets for re-filling CNG in the existing petrol pumps had been planned in Ahmedabad alone where both the private and public sector companies were eager to provide the facility. He said that while the Adanis were ready with a project for five "mother'' and 27 "daughter'' CNG outlets in Ahmedabad, the public sector Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited would take up similar projects in different parts of the State including Ahmedabad.
A memorandum of understanding is due to be signed with HPCL during the international conference on "Vibrant Gujarat'' in which a special session had been devoted for the development of oil and gas sector in the State.
Mr. Pandian claimed that gas was available in plenty in the State and there would be no dearth of CNG to meet the public demand. Both due to clean environment and the cheaper rates, CNG was bound to be preferred over petrol and diesel by the consumers.