Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXV No. 16, December 1-15, 2015

Our Readers write

Rain! Rain! …And what’ve you done again?

Tree management needed

(From T.D. Babu)

Fallen trees blocking roads in Adyar. (Courtesy: Adyar Times.)

Traffic blocks and casualties due to uprooted trees are common features during a storm. But the issue can be minimised or even averted to some extent if we attend to the root cause. Factors contributing to trees falling are: wrong species, shallow depth planting, insufficient soil space, infected trees, unpruned trees, several tree roots, and tree abuse.

In zone 13, the major species which were uprooted were several Copperpod or Ayalvagai, an ornamental tree with yellow flowers, also an exotic species, maramali or Indian corkwood, and indigenous species such as Indian elm and Ayamaram. Also, there were incidents of breakage of branches. These include species like Albiziasaman (Raintree/Thoongumoonjimaram), Millettiapinnata (Indian beech/Pungam), Bauhinia variegate (mountain-ebony/Mantharai).

Trees are planted along the roads without proper soil space from the property line and cemented around the trunk. Some species grow tall but brittle; hence unfit for avenues. Trees fit for avenues are Pungam, Veppalai or snowflakes tree, Poomaruthu, Iluppai, Poovarasam and Neer Maruthu.

The major reasons for the breaking of branches are non-elimination of decayed and cracked branches, unpruned cross branches, pest-infected branches, injuring the tree by nailing, heat from serial lamps and floodlights put above the branches, cementing around the base of the tree, and general abuse of

Planting appropriate species, taking into consideration the available space, functional pruning by evenly stabilising the tree load, periodical inspection of the tree for decay and infection, and providing appropriate soil nourishment can protect the tree from premature falling. There should be a system of tree health management.
Avenue trees should be allocated funds for maintenance because they need more scientific inputs for their management. There should be a proper post-storm response team in every zone in the Corporation, which should be well trained by a certified arborist and equipped with appropriate implements to clear damaged trees as well as to handle emergencies – (Courtesy: Adyar Times).

One with the Adyar

The pictures below by Chetan Arya show the jogging track of an institution
on the north bank of the Adyar and the lawn down to the river becoming a part
of the Adyar River during the recent rains


Action by residents?

The Cit’y is gasping. Lakes, temple tanks, etc. existed in the past and provided respite during heavy rains. But they are no longer there.

Our area (behind Taylor’s Road adjacent to the railway track across from the MCC playground) escaped the brunt of the recent flooding because we, the residents, fought for and revived Chetput Lake (that was slated for closure) and had stormwater canals constructed and linked to the Lake and got Rs. 42 crore sanctioned for the revival.
This could have well been done by the residents (for example) of the TTK neighbourhood, by seeking a link to the canal near Mandaveli Station. It could have been done by the residents of (say) Camp Road, Tambaram neighbourhood, where the encroachment on Rajakilpakkam Lake has happened. It is our national character to do nothing/
talk/bemoan after tragedy strikes!!! Why don’t residents act?

Jaishree Madhavan
Children’s writers

Charukesi’s article on The Fathers of Tamil Children’s writing (MM, Nov. 1st) took septuagenarians like us to our school-days in the 1950s when we never missed reading the magazines mentioned. Jinglee and Jil, Jil were two other favourites along with Ambulimama for us.

Azha Valliappa edited his own magazine, Poonjolai for some years before joining Gokulam. Valliappa, Aarvi, Tamilvanan who created Tamil Nadu’s Sherlock Holmes Shankarlal, were the real triumvirate of children’s literature of yesteryears.

Bhilai Gopalan
1/6 Sankara Flats,
6th Cross St,
Sasthri Nagar,
Chennai 600 020

* * *

In Charukesi’s article The Fathers of Tamil Children’s writing (MM, Nov. 1st), how could he overlook ‘Vandumama’ who toiled exclusively for 70 years writing for children, especially when he mentions Gokulam and Revathy?
Your answer to quiz question no. 16 mentions Shivaji’s house as Anna Illam instead of Annai (mother) Illam. Kindly be careful in future.


The write person…
The Madras-Bangalore route article in MM, November 16, was written by Muthiah Ramanathan of Bangalore. And not Dr. A. Raman.

…and the right heading
The heading on page 5 of the Madras Musings, November 16th, ‘The Tamil Bell Remarks’, should have read ‘The Tamil Bell REMAINS’. The errors are regretted.

–The Editor

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