Sunday, March 23, 2008

Let’s talk tree

Highway engineer, prolific writer, notably letters to editors, and tree lover H R Bapu Satyanarayana calls for a public interaction, to help us evolve suitable guidelines for a municipal tree policy. His suggestion comes in response to the Star of Mysore edit. - Roadside trees ( Mar.14).In the absence a declared tree planting policy there is at present much confusion and lack of clarity on this issue, says Mr Satyanarayana.

Excerpts from his letter to SoM , published on March 22:

When I was in Lucknow, the Municipal authorities encouraged house owners to maintain a green patch and maintain flower beds in front of their houses so that it presents a grand appearance. This seems a good move if there are wide footpaths. Nowadays with spaces shrinking due to various reasons, there is a need to come out with a specific policy.

We have seen in Mysore the Municipal authorities suddenly go on a spree of clearing the footpaths of such lovely patches and it must be heart-rending for the owners who have tended them so lovingly for years. All this could be avoided if the citizens are forewarned about their rights and limitations.

Though roadside trees provide much-needed shade, it may become a nuisance, depending upon the type of trees; some endanger the safety of the house if it is grown near its foundation. All these details need to be kept in mind when coming up with a policy of planting trees.

Another aspect to be kept in mind is the presence of overhead electric wires. In such cases specifying the type of trees is essential as they should not cut off streetlights. In these days of health consciousness combined with pollution, thought may be bestowed on planting a particular type of tree which has a beneficial medicinal effect when people walk below it. The breeze wafted from such trees, I am informed, has beneficial effect on people suffering from asthma and other breathing problems.

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