Residents are opposing the move to tamarind trees at Anamalai in Coimbatore

Trees on the Pollachi - Anamalai road in Coimbatore district.

Trees on the Pollachi – Anamalai road in Coimbatore district. (File photo | Express)

COIMBATORE: A group of residents in Anamalai area thronged the office of the assistant divisional engineer of the State Highways department and demanded to withdraw the decision to chop trees near Thathur Pirivu on Saturday.

The angry residents said that cutting down trees would definitely impact the local ecosystem and in turn affect current and future generations as the heat will further increase. They demanded that the officials drop the tree felling plan.

VS Paramasivam, a CPM functionary and district president of the Tamil Nadu Tribal People Association who led the protest, said Police Inspector Kumar has given an assurance that highway officials will not be tender to bite the trees. It was scheduled for April 23, but due to our strong protest, the officials decided to cut down only a few tamarind trees.

Sources in the highway department said they have sent a proposal to the District Green Committee seeking their approval and the trees will be cut only after their direct inspection of the area. “In addition, the trees will be felled as part of the improvement of intersections in Thathur Pirivu, which is now a hotspot with frequent road accidents. Three deaths were reported within a year. We have already installed speed breakers on the road leading to Topslip, one of the major tourist places in Tamil Nadu,” an official said.

“As part of the intersection improvement, we are installing a median and reducing traffic congestion. This is our original plan and then we decided to cut down trees to reduce road accidents. However, the Green Committee will take a call,” the official said.