TIRUPATI: A popular dialogue in superhit Telugu movie Muta Mesthri has the villain saying, “Oka Pranam Thisanu; Oka Pranam Posanu”. This means, “I have taken a life; I saved a life.”
Local bodies including TUDA, the Tirupati Municipal Corporation and the TTD seem to have taken the movie dialogue to their heart, as regards promoting greenery in Tirupati and its suburbs is concerned.
On the one hand, hundreds of trees are being cut down to widen roads. On the other hand, they are carrying out a ‘Compensatory Afforestation’ programme by planting more saplings than they have cut, and making up for the lost green cover over the years.
On either side of the 6-km-long busy stretch between Alipiri and Cherlopalli, over 1,300 trees, many of them decades-old, have been cut down for widening the double-way. The authorities, at first, gave the nod for cutting down 2,300 trees. However, the alignment of the road was slightly changed later to save 940 trees and this helped reduce the damage to the ecosystem.
This road connects the face of Tirumala and Tirupati with Cherlopalli cross, from where the road leads to highways headed for cities like Bangalore and Chennai.
This was the first bypass road laid at the cost of piercing an immense semi-forest stretch on the slopes of a hill located close to Alipiri, so as to ease the pressure of the ever-increasing traffic to Tirumala.
Many constructions also came up on this road and added more damage to the ecosystem.
However, to compensate for the loss in the green cover, the TTD is planting 10-20 saplings for each axed tree. “We are developing greenery on both sides of the roads leading to Tirumala. We also took up massive tree plantations, trans-locating nearly 193 trees, which were placed along both sides of the 6km long stretch and are also planting saplings along the roads that lead to Tirumala,” a TTD forest wing official said.
The Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) has taken up the task of developing a Miyawaki Forest, a park with high-density plantation, in Avilala panchayat on the outskirts of the city, with an aim to improve the urban landscape.
The TUDA is planting over 4,000 varieties of plants (130 species) on a small area of 1.3 acres.
“This concept was first introduced in Japan by renowned botanist and plant ecology expert Akira Miyawaki. It helped restore mini forests in urban/populated areas. This method advocates planting of more trees in small spaces, not like the traditional method of planting trees by providing sufficient space between each sapling”, an official from TUDA explained.