Monday, July 21, 2008

Tree felled for safety reason - The Star


A HUGE healthy rainforest tree in Jalan Lembah Permai in Tanjung Bungah, believed to be more than 50 years old, was chopped down over the weekend because it was obstructing the view of motorists.

Penang municipal councillor Lim Cheng Hoe said this has resulted in several accidents along the busy stretch.

He said the council approved the residents’ request for the tree to be chopped down by the Public Works Department.

Lim said in the latest accident about two weeks ago, a motorcyclist was seriously injured after a car exiting from a small lane at the junction knocked him down.

The rainforest tree beside Jalan Lembah Permai in Tanjung Bungah has to give way due to several accidents along the busy stretch.

“The car driver did not see the motorcyclist as the tree had blocked his view,” he said.

Lim added the council did not simply allow the tree to be chopped down on flimsy grounds.

“No doubt, the tree was healthy, but we have to consider the lives of people,” he said.

“There have been many accidents at the junction in the past,” said Lim, adding that the small lane led to a village and a parking lot of a nearby coffee shop.

Lim was commenting on public complaints to The Star on the felling of the tree. A reader complained that workers began axing the tree on Friday and the job took three days.

He also claimed it was the third three to be chopped down in two years in the area.

Another caller was concerned that the felling was illegal as it was being done over the weekend.

Lim dispelled the claims, saying no other tree in the area had been felled in recent years.

“I live in the area and there has not been any felling of trees there, only the occasional trimming of one or two trees with large branches,” he said.

Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu, who has been vocal about a greener Penang, said it was unfortunate that the tree had to be felled but human safety was of prime importance.

“We still want more trees to be planted all over the island,” said Teh, who had in March announced his target of having a million trees planted in the state within five years.

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