Even while a large number of trees are being felled in the name of development, there are people, though a very few, who are doing all they can to make the best of the nature’s bounty.
Two brothers in Ongole town have set up a cool drinks shop around a giant neem tree not to let the ‘natural oxygen cylinders’ go waste and also to protect themselves from the scorching summer heat.
“We are sentimentally attached to this 80-year-old tree, which is a manifestation of the Mother Nature,” says 48-year-old Shankar Rao, while briskly attending to a group of customers.
“As children, we remember playing under its shade,” chips in Mr. Shankar Rao’s 51-year-old brother Murahari Rao. Handing over a tender coconut to a regular customer, he says people prefer to standing under the neem tree for some time before heading to their destinations.
“We don't feel the summer heat at home, thanks to the tree, which acts as a shield and reduce the temperature by at least 3 to 4° Celsius,” say the brothers who live on the first floor of the building.
The duo has turned down suggestions to chop the tree and opt for expansion of the shop on the Rajapanagal Road near the Court Centre.
The Volunteer Environment Organisation’s chairman G. Veerabhadrachari pats the duo and says: “it is nice that people have started realising the importance of protecting trees which acts a natural shield from the scorching heat. Big and old trees grow faster and absorb more carbon.”
The civic authorities should conduct a special drive to protect all the existing trees and impose fine on those felling trees without any permission, he says, attributing the alarming rise in temperature to indiscriminate felling of trees.