April 21, 2007

Dear Corporation Commissioner,

Dear Commissioner Lakhoni,

We understand that the Corporation of Chennai requires a lot of firewood nowadays.
Since the summer is with us you may not need it to prepare hot water for a nice bath afer a long day's work but it may come in handy for some Corporation job or the other that you must indulge in.
May we therefore offer you a clump of trees in our neighbourhood?
They stand tall beside the Adyar flyover at a traffic roundabout and they have been there before you and I were born.
They escaped the orders of your predecessor who had to chop down scores of trees to make space for the flyover, one arm of which is dangerous for buses and lorries.
But since you and the contractors you employ are on a rampage nowadays, shaving off all the trees in Kotturpuram, on Sardar Patel Road and in Adyar, you may as well save some money for the Corporation and shave the rest of the trees here.
Like the Biblical act, the contractors' men have been daubing yellow marks on these avenue trees that protected our neighbourhood, thus signing the warrant of death. And within days, men with saws and axes went to work.
Commissioner, we guess you love bald humour.
We have been told that all these trees have been uprooted carefully and transplanted in campuses we have never heard of.
Perhaps, this may well be fodder for the cruelest joke you have played on this city.
The contractors' men are great graveyard levellers.
You should, on your city rounds, drive down Gandhi Mandapam Road and look at the professional manner in which the men have filled the places where the trees were uprooted, with cement and mortar and levelled the road.
This act reminds me of a notorious goonda of this city who murdered women and plastered them into the walls.
We understand that over 160 trees will be sacrificed this season in this area alone to make way for development.
There have been a few voices of protest but you must be laughing at these whimpers.
But then when has the state respected voices of protest and reason?
Some time ago, when people confronted your predecessor who was also thinking of shaving off trees on Besant Avenue, he left in a huff. A candlelight vigil saved some trees.
But this time around, you will have the last laugh. we fear.
Anyway, there will be work to do at the Corporation's nurseries. To assuage the guilt, we may need to plant saplings for a 'clean and green' Chennai.
Tell us when you intend to do this kind act.
We will need to hire a photographer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While I do agree with you broadly, should you not blame the avaricious houseowners on the MGRoad in Adayar/Besant Nagar who have allowed their houses- mind that most of it is supposed to be a residential stretch- to be developed into commercial entities, resulting in undefinable hardships to many ? One of the spin-off effects is the increased traffic with ever-increasing demand for parking space for
vehicles! Is the Corporation not right in chopping the trees here at least to make some room for traffic and parking? Or else who will provide the alternative for parking? Houseowners?Developers?.
Truly yours- VNatarajan Chennai 20