2.20 lakh saplings to be planted on 200 hectares in seven panchayat unions

Amidst intermittent complaints from farmers about encroachments on tanks and water bodies, the district administration has decided to raise ‘karuvel’ (babul) trees on panchayat union tanks to keep encroachers at bay.

The thorny and evergreen babul trees can effectively serve as a fence around the water bodies and prevent encroachments.

The trees would also fetch revenue to the local panchayats after a few years as the trees are used as timber, firewood, and fodder, officials said.

As many as 2.20 lakh tree saplings are to be planted covering a total area of about 200 hectares on about 23 tanks and ponds in seven panchayat unions across the district.

The exercise will be taken up at an estimated cost of nearly Rs. 1.02 crore in tanks in Manapparai, Marungapuri, Vaiyampatti, Thottiyam, Musiri, Uppilliyapuram, and Manachanallur unions, Collector Jayashree Muralidharan said.

On an average, about 1,110 tree saplings will be planted in a hectare under the exercise, Ms. Muralidharan said after inspecting the work in progress at Thekkankulam tank at F.Keezhaiyur village near Manapparai.

The saplings are provided free of cost by the Social Forestry Division of the Forest Department.

Beneficiaries employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme are engaged in planting and tending to the saplings on the tanks.