July 29, 2019
The Union government’s Jala Shakti Abhiyan aims to increase the nation’s water sources through massive tree plantation across the country. In the Nilgiris, the Jala Shakti Abhiyan on behalf of the district forest department launched a shola tree planting drive at Muthanattumandu forest reserve near Ooty on July 22.
Nilgiris Collector J Innocent Divya inaugurated the event following which a pledge was taken by the zoology students of the Government Ooty Arts College to protect the environment. The area was cleared of weeds and nearly 150 saplings of varieties like Vikki, Naval and Shenbagam were planted. The saplings were given tree guards to protect them from wildlife and grazing animals.
Addressing the press, Innocent Divya said, “Under this scheme we have partially cleared traditional trees of Nilgiris like eucalyptus and acacia and gone for shola plant saplings that will enrich this soil. If we remove all the eucalyptus trees, it could weaken the soil and lead to landslides. However, the saplings are planted along periphery of the tree roots, so they will anchor the soil firmly.”
The Nilgris District Forest Department Officer Gurusamy, Deputy Forest Officer Saravanan, Ooty Government Arts College Vice Principal Ebenezer, Professor Ramakrishnan, Forest Ranger Pandiaraj and many others attended the function.