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After 7-hour struggle peepal tree on transit finds a resting place in jail

Confusion over the destination of a 60-year-old peepal tree during its relocation, left the uprooted tree without a new location for nearly seven hours here on Tuesday.

After 7-hour struggle peepal tree on transit finds a resting place in jail
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The peepal tree being lifted from the Park Gate Junction (Photo: K Suresh Kumar)

Coimbatore

The fully-grown tree was among the four earmarked to be relocated from the Park Gate area on the Nanjappa Road in the city to another place as they would face the axe for the road widening work. 

A fortnight ago, the highways department approached a city-based NGO to help them relocate the trees. Originally, the above mentioned peepal tree was to be relocated to the Police Recruits School Ground (PRS).

Syed Kattuva, who headed the operation, said, “A pit was dug in front of the canteen at the PRS Ground. Usually, we dig pits that are 10 feet wide on all sides, but considering the size of the 80-ft-high tree, we dug up to 15 feet wide.”

(Workers struggling to take it into the Coimbatore prison premises)

On Tuesday, around 11 am the tree was uprooted after a 20-minute struggle. Loaded on to a trailer vehicle, the tree reached PRS Ground, bringing traffic to a halt on the way. However, the workers had to widen the pit further to 18 feet to accommodate the large roots. Police officials stalled the operation when the tree was about to be erected as the base of an old building and rocky surface emerged during the widening process. 

A frantic search for another suitable location began. At last, Coimbatore Central Prison authorities allowed it to be relocated in the prison complex. While it reached the prison entrance around 5 pm, the open roots proved too big for the entrance arch. It took another 90 minutes to offload the tree from the trailer and drag it in with the help of three cranes. The ordeal for the tree ended around 7 pm. 

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