This milestone on Sathy Road says Chamarajanagar is just 10 km away. From here we drove past scores of slaughtered trees all the way to the town. Amputated tree trunks on the roadside bore mute witness to an officially sanctioned havoc to green cover.
This stretch of the road close to Chamarajanagar town has apparantly been left untouched. Or could it be because the timber contractor, working his way towards the town from the sixth milestone, has yet to make it here ? Whatever the reason it was refreshing to see a stretch of road so well shaded by the lofty spread of decades old roadside trees.
If axe-men have their way, this shaded stretch may become a memory before long.
We took this picture from inside a car so as not to ‘distract’ workers of the timber contractor, who may not be appreciative of our amateur camera work. Elsewhere, logs from a freshly slaughtered tree await transport to saw mills and carpentry shops.
You could do a 1000 words on this picture. But who needs words when the chopped trunks can speak. Road-widening is cited as an obvious explanation. What is often not so obvious is that a minor fortune some people stand to make by lobbying for widening roads that are rich with old avenue trees.
Telltale remains of a chopped tree on the left of the big one suggest that road-widening may well be a pretext for converting decades old trees into high value timber. In many cases trees that got axed could have been saved, with marginal realignment of the stretch to be widened. But then saving trees fetch no money. And these are sturdy old trees, on which there is a fortune to be made by bringing them under the axe.
Cross-posted from FORT-Mysore