Afforestation programme of CADA has not been implemented Saplings to be planted in catchments areas of the Kabini and Harangi
MYSORE: C.H. Vijayashankar, Mysore MP, on Thursday directed the executive engineers of Kabini, Harangi and Varuna irrigation subdivisions to prepare a report in two days and submit it to the Forest Department for action on the project to plant saplings in these areas.
The Command Area Development Authority (CADA) had proposed an afforestation programme in the catchment areas of the Kabini and Harangi in the district, which was not implemented despite several promises.
At a meeting of the officials of the Forest and Irrigation departments here, the MP said planting of saplings would help in recharging groundwater and strengthen the water users' committees economically.
"The committees depended on the Government for funds. If trees that have medicinal and economic value are planted, they would support the committees in the years to come," he said.
Mr Vijayashankar said the Forest Department had sought Rs. 2.90 crore to plant saplings in the catchment areas in the next two years. "Once they are planted, they should be looked after by the Irrigation Department for five years and subsequently by the water users' committees who get the ownership of harvesting the produce," he said. The project aimed at making the committees self-sustainable by selling the produce of trees.
The Irrigation Department had released Rs. 10 lakh for the project. The Forest Department had been directed to plant neem, tamarind, mahua and other local species of trees, he said. Many trees had been chopped for widening Mysore-Madikeri, Mysore-Belur and Mysore-Manandawadi roads. However, Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), which was executing the road projects, did not compensate the loss by planting saplings even after completion of 80 per cent of the work, the MP said.
Officials of KRDCL had been instructed to plant saplings with the support of the Forest Department, he said.