R. Rajaram

TIRUCHI: The Forest Department will implement the Tree Cultivation in Private Lands (TCPL) scheme in Tiruchi Circle at a cost of Rs. 87.89 lakh during the current fiscal.

Saplings of casuarina and timber species are to be planted free by the Forest Department in patta lands belonging to small and marginal farmers identified under the scheme.

A target has been set to cover 2,100 hectares of private lands falling within the Tiruchi Circle, comprising seven Forest Divisions, during the current year. The scheme aims at enhancing tree cover for the protection of environment.

Besides Tiruchi Forest Division, the Tiruchi Circle comprises Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Perambalur, Nagapattinam and Social Forestry Division, Tiruchi.

Forest Department authorities say timber saplings will be planted in 2,000 hectares and casuarina saplings in 100 hectares across the circle.

The Tiruchi Forest Division alone has been given a target to cover 750 hectares of private lands in which 1.5 lakh saplings of timber would be planted.

The target set for Perambalur Division is 375 hectares for planting timber saplings; 250 hectares each for Thanjavur Division and Social Forestry Division, Tiruchi, and 125 hectares each for Pudukottai, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam Forest Divisions.

Eight lakh saplings

In all, eight lakh saplings of timber and casuarina are to be planted in 2,100 hectares of private lands this year. In addition to this, 60,000 saplings will be supplied free of cost to the identified beneficiaries for planting them on farm bunds.

Forest officials here say the process of identifying small and marginal farmers in Tiruchi Division will be completed before this month end.

The Department plans to embark on pitting and planting works in the identified lands next month in Tiruchi Division.

The identified farmers will be provided with grants for maintenance of the saplings. Funds to the tune of Rs. 21 lakh will be given as grant this year to the identified beneficiaries across the Tiruchi Circle under the scheme.

More In: Today's Paper