D. Radhakrishnan

It was inaugurated in June 2002

Water harvesting structure to be put up

Udhagamandalam: The State Forest Department has set in motion the process of bringing the Guinness Park near here back to life.

The park came into being in June 2002 following the efforts of the district administration to gain an entry in the Guinness Book of Records by planting the maximum number of native trees in one day. With the Guinness authorities recognising the feat, the area extending over about 40 hectares at Kuruthukulli near here came to be called Guinness Park.

Steps to ensure that the young plants take root and their growth monitored were mooted.

Research centre

It was duly announced that the area would gradually be converted into an eco-awareness and research centre.

However, the park subsequently went to seed owing to a combination of factors, including grazing by domestic and wild animals.

Sporadic attempts made by forest officials to revive the park failed to produce the desired results, and thousands of saplings perished.

With concern growing over the sorry state of the park, and people, particularly green activists, lamenting that the project was not serving its purpose, the Forest Department drew up a plan to revive the facility under the Hill Area Development Programme (HADP).

Pointing out that only about 15,000 to 20,000 plants have survived, D. Arun, District Forest Officer, the Nilgiris South division, told The Hindu that all the dead saplings would be replaced in a phased manner. He expressed the confidence that it would in course of time become a major attraction.

Weeds

Stating that a tree planting programme had been organised at the park on World Forestry Day, he said removal of weeds and application of manure were on.

The entire area would be fenced. A water harvesting structure would be put up.

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