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Malappuram set to go green

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The twin towns of Malappuram will become greener in a few years if a project proposed jointly by the Municipality and Nagarjuna Ayurvedic group takes root.

The project envisages planting of 10,000 medicinal trees in the municipal area within a month as part of making Malappuram a green town.

A joint meeting of the municipal councillors and Nagarjuna officials held here on Wednesday formed an `action council' for the implementation of the project titled `Malappuram oru Harithanagari'.

Another meeting to be held on June 22 will give final shape to the project. The date of the formal launch will also be decided at the meeting.

The municipal authorities have sought the involvement of voluntary organisations, Government departments, clubs, environmentalists, and trade and industry for the success of the project.

Municipal chairman Kiliyamannil Yakoob said medicinal trees provided by Nagarjuna group would be planted in the compounds of schools, hospitals, Government offices, mosques, temples, churches, and public places where they can grow without hindering traffic.

Private parties will also be given herbal saplings if they cooperate with the Harithanagari scheme.

"We are trying to make it a people's participatory project by involving the public," said Mr. Yakoob.

He said the municipality would try to motivate people to go in for herbal plants.

Nagarjuna officials said that they would supply the saplings of `koovalam' (aegle marmelose), `kanikkonna' (cassia fistula), `asokam' (saraca indica), `chandanam' (santalum album), `venga' (pterocarpus marsupium), and `aryavepu' (azadiracta indica).

In a brochure released here, Mr. Yakoob admitted that a spurt in concrete buildings coupled with the unbridled growth of towns had an adverse effect on the environment. He said it was environment that always took the brunt of a town's development.

Decrying the waste of crores of rupees on trees such as acacia and eucalyptus, Mr. Yakoob said that planting of herbs would be a great step towards resuscitating the environment.

Baby Joseph, manager (agriculture) of Nagarjuna Ayurvedic group, pointed out that paucity of herbs was a major problem faced by the Ayurveda sector in the country. Increased consumption and unscientific use of medicinal plants can lead to extinction of some herbs, he said.

Nagarjuna will spend Rs. 1 lakh to plant herbs in Malappuram town. The group has already planted trees in Thodupuzha and Thripunithura municipalities.

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