August 11, 2016
When M. Gayathri Devi, a resident of Kovaipudur, planted a Mahogany tree outside her home about five years ago, she didn’t expect that she would be under pressure to fell it.
A real estate company approached her through its agents to get the tree felled. But Gayathri, a nature lover and wildlife photographer, was firm in retaining the tree at any cost. With the help of R. Mohammad Saleem, president, Environment Conversational Group (ECG), Kumar P, an engineer and M Syed of OSAI, she filed a petition with the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) and the Electricity Board, seeking their help to save the tree.
The real estate firm, that was constructing four houses in the area, wanted the tree to be felled as it ‘obstructed’ the electricity lines. It felt the Mahogany tree was a hindrance to the power connection. However, experts argued that the power supply could be given through underground cables also.
Both CCMC and EB authorities refused permission to fell the tree and thanks to them and the three good Samaritans who helped Gayathri, the tree is standing majestically in front of her house.
However, the branches of the full grown tree have left cracks on the compound walls. “My neighbour said that we can have the branches trimmed. And I have agreed to this,” Gayathri said.
Samina. A, Councillor of Ward 90 said that they would not allow the tree to be felled. “The branches of the tree that is damaging the compound walls will be trimmed. Alternate ways will be worked out to lay the electricity cables to ensure that the four homes that are under construction get electricity connection,” Samina added.