R. Rajaram

In Tiruchi, Perambalur, Pudukottai, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur

TIRUCHI: The Forest Department will plant eight lakh saplings in private lands in various forest divisions falling within the Tiruchi Circle under the Tree Cultivation in Private Lands Scheme (TCPL) in the current financial year with a view to enhancing tree cover outside forest areas.

The Department has set targets for each forest division specifying the number of casuarina saplings and saplings of timber species that needed to be planted in private lands across the Tiruchi Circle that encompasses Tiruchi, Perambalur, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam Forest Divisions besides Tiruchi Social Forestry Division.

The total number of saplings of timber species to be planted in Tiruchi Circle this fiscal is five lakhs, while it is 3 lakhs in the case of casuarina. For the 2010-11 year, the Tiruchi Forest Division has been given a target to plant 1.70 lakh saplings of timber species; while the target for Perambalur Forest Division is to plant one lakh saplings of timber species.

Fifty per cent of the one lakh saplings to be planted in Pudukottai Forest Division will be casuarina. In Thanjavur Forest Division, 60,000 saplings of timber species and 40,000 saplings of casuarina will be planted, while in Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam Forest Divisions, the number of casuarina saplings to be planted is 60,000 and 75,000 respectively. A total number of 30,000 timber species saplings would be planted each in Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

For the Tiruchi Social Forestry Division, the target for planting casuarina saplings is 75,000, while it is 60,000 saplings in respect of timber species. The forest divisions have been instructed to commence the preparatory works.

Officials here say saplings would be raised at the nurseries adding that the beneficiaries mainly small and marginal farmers would be identified under the TCPL scheme on whose holdings the saplings would be planted. In Tiruchi Forest Division alone, the saplings would be planted in over 300 hectares this year.

The Forest Department staff will do the pitting and planting works in the identified private lands, officials said adding that the scheme was being implemented since 2007-08 with a view to increasing tree cover outside forest areas and to meet the growing timber demand.

Besides providing subsidy to the identified beneficiaries who are to maintain the saplings, the Department would provide incentives to them after ascertaining the survival rate of the saplings, a senior official said.

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