The milestone on Sathy Road says Chamarajanagar is just 10 km away. From here we drove past scores of slaughtered trees all the way to the town. Amputated tree trunks on the roadside bore mute witness to an officially sanctioned havoc to green cover.
This stretch of the road close to Chamarajanagar town has apparantly been left untouched. Could it be because the timber contractor, working his way towards the town from the sixth milestone, has yet to make it here ? Whatever the reason it was refreshing to see a patch of road well shaded with roadside trees that are decades old.
If axe-men have their way, this shaded stretch may well become a memory.Giving way to a widened, if tree-less, stretch of road such this one.
Timber contractors are at work,sawing and axing freshly chopped trees into manageable pieces of firewood.
Logs on the wayside await transport to saw mills and carpentry shops.
You could do a 1000 words on the chopped tree in this picture.
But who needs words when the trunks can speak. Road-widening is cited as an explanation. What is often not so obvious is a minor fortune some people could stand to make by lobbying for widening roads rich with old avenue trees.
Telltale remains of a chopped tree on the left of the big one suggest that road-widening may well be a pretext for converting trees into high value timber. In many cases trees that got axed could have been saved, with marginal realignment of the stretch marked for widening. But then saving trees fetch no money. And these are sturdy old trees, on which there is much money to be made by bringing them under axe.