The Chennai corporation this week made it clear that those hanging ad boards, cables, banners and colourful lights on trees will be not be spared anymore. If they fail to remove them in 10 days, they will be penalised and sentenced to jail. Finally, a hefty fine of Rs 25,000 and a 3-year jail term may act as deterrent to those defacing roadside trees.
Tree abuse seems to be quite rampant in the city. Hammering nails into trees to fix advertisement boards lets in organisms causing diseases and also fungus. This in turn reduces the life span of the tree. Trees also become weak and face the risk of getting uprooted during heavy rains and winds.
Hanging lights on trees not only affects photosynthesis but also distracts motorists who commute on roads. Last month, the Madras HC directed the civic body to file an affidavit on action taken against those nailing trees.
The petitioner had claimed that nailing trees affects growth. In the PIL, she faulted the civic body and police for failing to act against those who assault trees.
In the name of development, thousands of trees have been cut during the last few decades. The Madras high court has repeatedly insisted that 10 saplings be planted for every tree axed for development projects, especially upgradation of roads by NHAI.
At this juncture, safeguarding the existing green cover becomes of paramount importance. Several green activists, who have been making sustained efforts in this direction, launch ‘save tree’ campaigns quite regularly. They form groups of volunteers who climb trees and remove nails, wires, iron rods, screws, brackets and stapler pins used for hanging publicity materials.
Besides environmentalists, people must also help in conserving the city's greenery. They can post complaints on Namma Chennai app or call up 1913 to register complaints against those causing slow death of trees.
With loss of green cover having serious consequences like rise in Co2 levels, depleting air quality and climate change, it is in our hands to ensure that least harm is caused to environment....