August 12, 2017
The Coimbatore Central Prison is all set to wear a green look with the plan for a thick forest cover on the premises which should also help in fighting the heat. The initiative is being led by the district forest department and NGO Siruthuli, according to the Superintendent of Police M Senthilkumar.
Started in 1872, the prison has 1,720 inmates and a separate enclosure for women. The prison is spread over 165 acre, and 45 acres would be set aside for the forest, he added.
Recently 2,000 saplings were planted on the prison campus under the initiative of Tamil Nadu, ADGP (Prisons) C Sylendra Babu.
Senthilkumar told The Covai Post: “Creating the thick forest will not only reduce the heat in the city but will also help prisoners relax.”
Saplings will be maintained by prisoners. Twenty in a team have formed and they will take care of the trees. “We monitor the team closely and train them to maintain the garden. Prisoners feel free to work in such an environment,” he added.
Another 6,000 saplings are ready for planting.
Sylendra Babu had approved digging new borewells to maintain the garden and sanctioned Rs 16 lakh. Three borewells would be dug initially, he said.
“The number of trees felled around Avinashi Road, Trichy Road, Mettupalayam Road and Sathy Road as part of road widening would be more than 1 lakh. This is considered as one of the main reason for drought in city. The creation of a forest in the prison which is in the heart of the city is really welcome,” said farmer K Marimuthu.
Seventeen types of saplings have been planted which include neem, poovarasu and naaval, besides coconut palms in a separate farm.
Prisoners are given daily wages of Rs 100. The forest is really a social one as all are involved in its creation, Senthilkumar said.