Tree lover Tulsi Ram Prajapati’s five-month work of converting seven dead trees into beautiful sculptures was axed by the UT Administration on Monday. Four other dried trees with sculptures have been left as the Municipal Corporation is not carrying out such a drive on that road for now.
Standing alongside the trees and seeing them axed, Prajapati said it seemed there was no respect for art in Chandigarh, contrary to what he had imagined. He said at least the trunk of the trees, where the art work was done, should have been spared and it could have been removed and displayed at some government building or tourist spot.
“I was returning home on my motorcycle when I saw workers axing the trees. I was shocked to see the way they destroyed the art. I know it is government property, but those dead trees are of no use now,” said the fine arts teacher at Government Senior Secondary School, Kaimbwala.
“Had I wanted, I could have made a tree sculpture at my home as well. However, I thought the shabby and dried trees on roads could be made to look beautiful. I wanted to create awareness towards this as everybody does not go to art galleries. Even labourers who were axing the trees wanted to know who created such a design on these.,” said the 35-year-old artist.
He has done art work on trees on the Sukhna Lake-Rock Garden road stretch and on the road leading to Governor’s residence. He got several appreciation calls from different parts of the country and abroad after they read about his unique work.
Diversity could be seen in his work as a tree sculpture had an image of people clicking a selfie together. Another had a portrait of a mother holding her baby away from society depicting crime against minor girls these days.
The Faridabad native, who is putting up with his family at Kaimbwala village, was earlier asked to stop work by the authorities saying he could not work on government property without permission. Following this, he had moved an application in the MC office seeking permission. However, he did not get a reply.
UT Horticulture Department Executive Engineer Jarnail Singh said, “We cut dried trees as they pose a risk to commuters. There are no orders or permission to exclude trees with sculptures.”