Farmers voiced their protest against planting of eucalyptus saplings in several parts of the district under social forestry scheme. They said that the scheme had done more harm than good for farming in fertile lands in the district. A cross section of farmers said that certain parts of the district are endowed with fertile soil but the planting of eucalyptus trees in these pockets had resulted in serious depletion of ground water table.
They said that the forest department should dispense with the social forestry scheme forthwith in the larger interest of agriculturists. Collector C.Manoharan said that he had already held a detailed discussion with forest officials and wanted to elicit the farmers’ opinion in this regard. S.A.Raji, Divisional Forest Officer, said that based on the recommendations of the representatives of farmers associations, he would impress upon his higher ups to not plant eucalyptus saplings in the district. Appavu Balandar from the non-political farmers’ association, said that the ground water had depleted considerably over the years due to the planting of eucalyptus saplings.