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Planetarium ignores plea, set to axe trees on campus

ENVIRONMENTALISTS are crying foul as trees, some of which are 15 years old, standing tall in the Anna Science Centre Planetarium premises will be facing the axe. This is because the Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre (TNSTC) in Chennai has decided to build an innovation club at a cost of Rs 1.2 crore where the trees have been growing. In an effort to stop the chop-ping down of these trees, K C Neelamegam, a city-based activist of Thanneer NGO , petitioned the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) at Monday's grievance day meeting to prevent this from happening.

Situated on an area covering over 10 acres near Pudukkottai Road, the planetarium is a tourist destination and also visited by schoolchildren, with the native frees forming a green canopy. This is not the first time the trees have faced a threat of being chopped down. In June, Express had warned steps were being taken to uproot the frees. A source said the planned innovation hub would help children get a hands-on approach to technology. The laboratory would be equipped with tools and scientific instruments that ca be accessed by students, teachers and institutions. Neelamegam rued officials are keen to chop down the old trees "After a break of two months, once again the frees are in dan-ger as they would be cut down for the innovation hub. These trees are the symbol of biodiversity in the locality and steps should be taken to with-draw the plan of chopping down trees." Some of the notable tree species are Neem, Iluppai, and Maramalli, all of which have been listed by TNSTC as heading for the axe. When contacted,a Revenue D-partment official in Tiruchy said he would look into matter. He showed his concern towards the trees and stated necessary steps would be taken to stop them from being chopped down and an alternate site found for the innovation hub.

Source:epaper. . newindianexpress. com//c/21718993 

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