Loss of green cover:Trees along Mettupalayam Road in Coimbatore being cut as part of the ongoing works to widen the stretch.
The felling of trees on Mettupalayam Road from Sukrawarpet to Narashimanaickenpalayam to widen the road has been opposed by Matram Charitable Trust.
Following persistent and long pending public demand, the National Highways Department took up the work for widening the most congested, accident-prone and battered stretch of the road into a four lane measuring 20 km from Stock Exchange on Tiruchi Road till Narashimanaickenpalayam, which is part of NH 67.
Trust president M.Yoganathan told media persons that already 30 trees had been cut along Sukrawarpet area. The industries along Mettupalayam Road caused pollution to a considerable extent by burning 5,000 tonnes of coal and melting 50,000 tonnes of iron every day. The tree cover along the road was all along helping in absorbing the pollution.
Given the proposed plan of the National Highways for widening the road, more number of trees would be cut.
Mr. Yoganathan added that the city had lost a substantial green cover by way of cutting trees on Avanashi Road and Tiruchi Road during the widening work. The authorities failed to compensate for the green cover loss by planting saplings.
Hence, Matram was planning to move the court to obtain a stay on cutting trees.
Divisional Engineer of National Highways G. Thangamuthu told The Hindu that as per the norms, for every tree cut, the authorities should plant six saplings. On Avanashi Road and Tiruchi Road there was no space for planting saplings.
However, the work was done in areas wherever space was available. As far as Mettupalayam Road was concerned, there was space for planting saplings along the boundaries of the widened stretch.
He added that once the road works were completed before the end of monsoon, saplings would be planted proportionate to the number of trees cut.
Source - Hindu