My wife says this is the season for trees to green. But I would credit our security man Jayaram, for the fresh leaves that are showing up on the two teak trees close to our sewage treatment plant (STP). Jayaram, posted on STP security duty, took special care to nurse back to life the teaks that had been 'coffined in concrete'.. The Mantri project civil engineers , while cement-flooring car wash space, left no space around the trees for watering them.. It took an agitation by some green-minded residents to get the developers carve out from concreted floor some breathing space for the withering teak trees.
Mantri Synergy, a 750-unit residential complex on Chennai's OMR, has been raised on what was till five years back a mango and coconut farm. A tree count, taken when Mantri's took up the land for contruction in 2008, tallied 24 mango, 140 teak and 165 coconut trees. Ms Snehal Mantri had then offered to transplant most of these trees on the periphery of our residential complex.
She did save many teak, some coconut and a lone mango tree, which still stands close to our clubhouse grocery stores. But Mantri's marketing minds, betraying supreme indifference to the sentiments of their own company boss, coffined in concrete two teak trees leaving little breathing space for them to survive. With concrete flooring covering the soil above their roots the teaks faced a slow death.
Two months back, Mantri project team slaughtered three of the surviving coconut trees to make way for parking space. A few of us, residents, held a memorial service for the fallen coconut trees; and announced 'a pickaxe action' to save the 'concereted' teaks. Our threat worked, and Mantri project staff dug up some circular space around the trees to facilitate watering.
Among participants at our memorial service to slain coconut trees were Mr R Vasudevan, Mr Jagadeesh Mahadevan, Mr Manoranjan Pandey, Mr Krishna, and Mr Sourav Mohanty.