Grandma's Tales

July 10, 2007

Rape of my city 4

Filed under: Games People Play,Government,Language,Society — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 9:28 pm

saidapet_forest2_reduced_resolution-1.jpgThe time has come to write about it. The Civil Society Group consisting of members extremely concerned about the lovely avenue trees being cut in Chennai city, allegedly to make way for a better flow of traffic, met last Sunday. After the merciless cutting of trees in front of Raj Bhavan, apparently for road expansion, a member of this group used the RTI to find out how many trees would face the axe in the coming months. The meeting was to discuss the information she got. Read the result of that RTI first.  I corrected the mistakes as much as I could, but you get the idea.
Chief Engineer (General) & Public Information Officer,
Corporation of Chennai, Chennai.
Dr. Suchitra Ramkumar
Yellow Building
Damodar Gardens
(The School-KFI Campus)
Besant Avenue
Chennai –600 020.
C.E (GI).C.No.A 1/449/06 Dated: 24-5-07
Sub:- The Right to Information Act furnishing details of mass felling of trees — Reg.
Ref:- I) Letter from Dr. Suchitra Ramkumar, dated 24.11.2006 Requesting to furnish details.
With reference to your letter cited above, it is to informed that the
details requested by you are enclosed herewith.
I) Details of any letter circular received seeking action on trees.
i) Letter received from Joint Commissioner of Police Traffic Greater
Chennai, Vepery Chennai — 7.
ii) Ref. No.C.No.347/JCTlCampus/06 3.8.06
iii) No. of Trees about 793 situated in all the Zones of Chennai ‘
Corporation (List enclosed)
iv) Action requested to take action to removal/transplant trees to ensure free flow of traffic and to avoid accidents.
v) No. of trees (List enclosed) & location. Details regarding the cutting of trees in Besant Nagar. As per the orders of Commissioner based on the remarks received from Zonal Ofticer-X, 5 Nos. of trees were earmarked for relocation in Besant Avenue and two odian trees were pruned meant for transplantation on 12.10.2006.
Public Information Officer & Chief Engineer (General)
Sunil Kumar, IPS
Joint Commissioner of Police
Traffic, Greater Chennai, Vepery, Chennai – 7
The Commissioner, Corporation of Chennai. Chennai -3
C.No,347/JCT/Camp/06 Dated 03,08,06
At several places in-Chennai City there are trees, which lie on the road. This straight away cuts upt 03 mts of !he road at many places, thus reducing the space for the movement of vehicles, The trees itself have been found to be a cause of accidents, including fatal ones many a time.
2. With a view to provide safe travel as well as to increase the road space in the already congested roads, it is requested that trees which lie in the middle of !he road (list enclosed) may kindly be transplanted/ removed at the earliest to ensure free flow of traffic. It is therefore requested that early action may kindly be taken in this regard.
Yours fai!hfully,
Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Greater Chennai

SLNo. Name of the Road No. of Trees
1) Road Near Post Office 2
2) Road Near H3 Police Station 1
3) Tondiarpet High Road Near M.R.Nagar Market 3 
4) Tondiarpet High Road Near 2 K.S.Kalyanamandapam 1
SLNo. Name of the Road No. of Trees
1) Vepery Hiqh Road Near Jain Temple 1
2) Jermiah Road in front of Girinetra Schoo1 1
3) Perambur High Road in front of Railway Station 1
4) Perambur High Road in front of Door NO.8/1B, Saraswati Square 1
5) Perambur High Road in front of NO.100/79 Bharathi Bus Stand 1
No. Name of the Road No. of Trees
1) Tailors Road Door NO.14 1
2) NM Road in front of Omsakthi Travels 2
3) NM Road in front of D.No.31/138 2
4) NM Road infront of D. NO.132 1
5) NM Road in front of D.No.51, Perivar Plaza 2
6) NM Road in front of D.No.106/64 2
7) NM Road in front of D.No.126 & 128 Spencer 2
Food world
8 NM Road in front of 84 Trinitv Gas 2
9 1st Avenue D.No.30 & 30A 2
10) 1st Avenue D.No.K-24 1
11 1st Avenue D.No.33 & 34 2
12) 1st Avenue near Chintamani 1
13 1st Avenue D.No.D1/3 Chandra Medicals 2
14) 1st Avenue Valli Dental Clinic 3
15 3rd Avenue Near GRD 1
16) 2nd Avenue Near TNSC Bank 1
17 6th Avenue near Anna Naqar Police Station 1
18 100 Feet Road ODD18th Main Road 1
19 100 Feet Road ODD.19th Main Road 1
20 VinaVaqaDUramtowards Games VilaDe D.No.54 3
21 Games Viliage – ODDUTI Bank 1
22) Near Andal Alagar Kalyanamandapam 2
SL No. Name of the Road No. of Trees
1 Dr. Swamy Sivananda Salai 5
2 Bells Road 4
3 Walajah Road 8
4 Whites Road 9
5 Cathedral Road 17
6 Royapettah High Road 2
SLNo. Name of the Road, No. of Trees
1 Ethiraj Salai 6
2 Pantheon Round about 2
3 Haddows Road 3
4 Nunaambakkam High Road 7
5 Kodambakkam, High Road 1
6 Matralii1Ca.Duram Road 2
7 Valluvarkottam High Road 3
SLNo. Name of the Road No. of Trees
1) Venkatanarayana Road near Burkitt Road In. 4
2 Burkitt Road X Dandapani St., In. 1
3) Burkitt Road infront of Andhra Bala Bhavan 1
4 Burkitt Road In front of Hotel Sudha 1
5) Venkatanarayana Road In. in front of Lion Hospital 1
6 North Usman Road in frontof Saradha School 1
7 North Usman Road in front of Sundar St., 1
8 Thiagaraja Road in front of Bala Bhavan 1
9 Anna Salai Anna Rotary Nandanam 18
10 TTK Salai Music Acadamy to Park Sheraton 35
11 GN Chetty Road. Anna Rotary to Vanavil 4
12 Chamiers Road 8
SI.No. . Name of the Road No. of Trees
1 Sardar Patel Road from Rai Bhavan to Halda 29
2 Anna Salai from Soic to Little Mount 5
3 From Little mount to YMCA 15
4 Velachery Main Road 22
Right. Did you take a good look? Once the saws have done their job, T.Nagar is going to look naked. 35 trees off TTK Road?
Look, I’m all for free flow of traffic. Who isn’t? But I have a few questions on the need to cut all these trees.
[1] Do all these trees jut into the roads?
[2] Do they have to be removed completely? I mean a little bit of pruning (as they do so well in Denver) won’t be enough to solve the problem?
[3] Ours is a hot city and driving (riding bikes) through many of the roads mentioned above is a pleasant experience simply because of the canopy offered by the avenue trees.  Should we lose this?
[4] Most importantly, how about those who walk?  Are the rights of vehicle drivers more  important than the rights of those who walk? The Corporation wants to make driving easier, more comfortable. How about the comfort of those who prefer to walk? Is walking a sin in this city?
[5] Scores of people do small businesses under the trees. All of us buy stuff from them. Do they have rights?
[6] The point about trees causing fatal accidents. Trees do not cause accidents. People’s carelessness causes accidents. People are hit by vehicles, there are head-ons where there are no trees. And there will be accidents even after all these trees are gone. What will the Traffic Commissioner do then? Stop vehicles from plying?
[7] Transplant: Where are all the transplanted trees? What is the percentage of their survival? Does anyone know?
[8] How will the cutting of 35 trees on TTK Road improve traffic there? You mean, the trees are gone and hey presto, the traffic flows smoothly? Or is it for building a flyover?
[9] And this question: The number of vehicles keeps increasing. Very soon even tree-less roads will be choked. What then? Is this a permanent solution?
[10] And this dark question: Who gains from the cutting of trees? I have a reason for asking this question.  A friend took a photograph of Sri Ram Colony near the Saidapet Court last week. You can see the how trees have been chopped off there. How come this area has not been mentioned in the RTI note? Are there any laws governing the felling of trees in theis city?
The CSG is preparing a petition in answer to this RTI. They have been consulting with experts on this matter. In the meantime, Exnora is organising a meet on “Global Warming”. Here are the details.
Dear friends, EXNORA is organising a meeting to find out measures for combating Global Warming. This is a mammoth meeting where children from different schools are participating; it is learnt that buses will be arranged for transport of children  This meeting is scheduled to be held at The Nehru Stadium on 20 July from 3-00 p.m. to 6-00 p.m..This is likely to be chaired by Shri Stalin. You can get more details of this meeting from Shri Ranganayakalu Cell 92834 13467 or #99410 07064 or you can speak to shri Nirmal #98400  34900.
please consider making some placards for this meeting and obtain signatures of children as we discussed the other day.
Sincerely M. SUNDARARAMAN Tel#24461660
So the minister is going to address a meeting on Global Warming! Pinch the baby and rock the cradle! Cut the trees and attend (help organise?) a mammoth meeting on Global Warming! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!



  1. Man what a riot! It is disheartening to note that Chennai would be under going a make over without the color green. I think that the lesson on “Environmental protection” should be scrapped off the syllabi in schools to be replaced by the lesson, “I,me,myself and My car”! Any takers who want to write the chapter? Oh! wait a minute,the authorities would be more than willing. (No vengeance intended.) 😉

    p.s-Ma’am could I please e-mail you at

    Comment by Karishma.D.Dodeja — July 11, 2007 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  2. Sure, Karishma, go ahead and mail me. But please let me put down your excellent writing on my blog. I’m sure a lot of my readers would love to read your prose!
    Those who give permission to fell 30-year-old trees make sure to proclaim themselves as people who care for “environmental protection”. They talk of transplanting the trees and attend rallies on Global Warming. They justify the felling on the plank of “development”. The city traffic gets clogged. What do you expect us to do?

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — July 12, 2007 @ 12:30 am | Reply

  3. Ma’am I am confused as to why these measures are being taken and the only suggesion is that people wake up to these facts and rally for the cause of the trees.

    Comment by Karishma.D.Dodeja — July 13, 2007 @ 11:32 pm | Reply

  4. Huge projects, lots of construction, a gang of contractors. Large avenue trees on the chopping block! Think Karishma, you’ll get the answer!

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — July 15, 2007 @ 3:52 am | Reply

  5. I think I just did get the answer and it is not a very nice one!

    Comment by Karishma.D.Dodeja — July 15, 2007 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  6. I agree!

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — July 16, 2007 @ 4:57 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: