Couple’s complaint on tree being felled triggers swift police action

A telephone call from a senior citizen to the City Police Commissioner that a tree, nurtured by her and her husband for over a decade, was mercilessly felled by a builder on Mangaladevi Road in the City moved the officer, prompting remedial action.

Shobha Nayak, retired nursing superintendent with Government Wenlock Hospital and resident of Subhasnagar, spoke to Commissioner T.R. Suresh during his weekly phone-in programme, narrating her woes. “My husband and I had been nurturing about eight tree saplings which were left abandoned after they were planted on the flanks of Mangaladevi Road,” she said.

To her dismay, one of the trees, which had grown tall, was uprooted by someone, possibly the builder of an apartment complex on Monday, she said, and added that they felt as if they had lost their own child. Though it did not come under the purview of police, Mr. Suresh asked his personnel to meet the couple and soothe their feelings.

After the phone-in, inspector H. Shivaprakash (Traffic-East) visited the couple and the spot. He spoke to the contractor, who allegedly uprooted the tree, and got an assurance that at least four saplings would be planted during laying of interlocks on the road flanks.

Watering saplings

Manoj, an optician in the nearby building, told
The Hindu
that Ms. Nayak and her husband Raghuveer Nayak, a retired BSNL officer, watered the saplings in mornings and evenings. In fact, one sapling was almost dead; but came alive after the couple took care of it. They talked to every sapling, he said.

Ms. Nayak told
The Hindu

that people who planted the saplings about a decade ago did not take care of them, prompting the couple to nourish them. Retired from service since five years, Ms. Nayak recalled that she used to be late to work as she had to bring water on her scooter for the saplings.

Of the eight Badam saplings, five are alive now. Four saplings in front of a commercial- cum- residential building are fully grown albeit with pruned branches while three in front of the adjacent complex are dead, including the latest one.

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