In order to achieve the twin objectives of conserving a fast-disappearing tree species and protecting water bodies, Siruthuli, a non-governmental organisation based in the city, has launched a campaign to cultivate palm trees along tank and river bunds.

It is being taken up as part of the celebrations to mark the organisation’s completion of 10 years.

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam inaugurated the campaign here on Friday by planting the first sapling along the banks of Periakulam, which was cleaned recently.

The significance of palm trees, according to Vanitha Mohan, managing trustee of Siruthuli, was that it would draw water from deep below the ground and feed them to the surface tanks.

Further, the roots of palm trees would hold the bund and preserve the shorelines.

Helping Siruthuli in this initiative is the Ukkadam Fruit Merchants’ Association.

The association has come forward to maintain the palm trees along the bund.

Among the other initiatives being taken up by Siruthuli is a project to map the streams of Noyyal and eventually restore them.

The NGO is working the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) to construct check dams in Noyyal also.

Native trees

With panchayats in Tamil Nadu having huge tracts of poramboke land, a ‘Pasumai Panchayat’ project, in which tree species that are native to the village will be planted, was also launched by the organisation on Friday at Mayilampatti Panchayat near here.

The DRDA had consented to take up planting of five lakh saplings under this campaign and maintain them under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme.

Through college forums, Siruthuli is going to create awareness on garbage segregation among the public. The ‘Garbage to Green’ project was also launched later during the day to convert biodegradable waste into compost for growing vegetables at houses, added Ms. Vanitha Mohan.

Earlier, addressing the Siruthuli anniversary celebrations organised near Periakulam, Mr. Kalam lauded the efforts taken to clean the tank that was an example of people’s power.

S.V. Balasubramaniam, chairman of Siruthuli; Coimbatore Mayor S.M. Velusamy; C.R. Swaminathan, president, Residents’ Awareness Association of Coimbatore, too spoke.