‘Padmasini’ reads a name board near a neem tree transplanted from the site of the new Tirupathur Collector’s office. Commercial Taxes Minister K.C. Veeramani named it after his late wife.
Similarly, Tirupathur Collector Sivanarul and his staff have named over 130 trees transplanted from the site of the new Collector’s office after their loved ones. “This will make us take care of it better. Every day or at least a few times a week, we will go and check on the condition of the trees just because we have named it,” said Mr. Sivanarul, who has named a tree as Raja.
Around 15 students of a nearby karate school have also christened the trees. “After their class is over, they water the trees and then go home. We taught them the importance of each tree and also how to preserve them,” said Syed Kattuva, an environmentalist from Bharathiar University, who is part of the Marangalukku Maruvazhu Amaippu that is behind the transplantation work.
The Collector said the district administration was planning to have a separate layout for sandalwood and red sanders trees on the new campus. “We will be transplanting them too. However, we are awaiting permission from the Forest Department for the same,” he added.
The present Collector’s office is located in the old Block Development Office and a new one is being constructed on the Forest Department’s residential premises. It will have seven floors and will house over 40 departments and the work is expected to be completed in a year’s time.
“Instead of chopping the trees, I wanted to transplant them. Naming them will give an emotional connect,” said Mr. Sivanarul.
Some of the tree species identified are neem, pungan, udhiyan and manipungan. Most of them are herbal trees that are usually found in the forests.
Mr. Kattuva said it would take at least 30 to 90 days to know how successful the transplantation has been. He said the climate, the mud and species of the tree determined the success of the transplantation.
The team digs pits that are 10 ft wide and 10 ft deep at the spot where the tree will be transplanted. Before uprooting the trees, the team checks if the tree is healthy. Then its trunk is covered using cow dung and gunny bags. A pit is dug around the tree and it is lifted along with the mud beneath it called ‘Thai mannu’, and then transported to the new site using a crane.