Activists of Marangalin Nanbaragal, an NGO, along with organisations such as Satta Panchayat and ‘A Tree’, removed nails from trees in Pettai area in Tirunelveli. Siva Natarajan of Satta Panchayat said that it was a three-hour drive that commenced at 7 am and went on until 10 am. Though they could cover very few trees on the first day they planned to undertake the campaign on all Sundays to make trees free of nails.
Siva Natarajan also said trees are public properties and no one has the right to use them for advertisements. Also, the nails will affect the life of a tree. When nails driven into the trees they make the bark dry and during strong winds, the trees would fall down easily. “Some of the trees grow for nearly 400 years and when nails are driven into them, their life is reduced. Also, because of the nails and advertisement boards, birds can’t nest in the trees and find them disturbing,” said Siva Natarajan.
Fixing nails in the trees and hanging advertisement boards are illegal as trees are not meant for advertising, he said. He also said that during the drive, they will also take legal recourse if fresh nails are driven into trees after they had removed them.
During the drive, the activists measured the circumference of the trees to determine if they would continue to grow in the next six months despite the nails.