Expert suggests plantation of local species

Environmental activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt visits Hudhud-affected areas. BCT secretary B. Sri Ram Murthy said instead of giving importance to numbers, the trees that withstand the gale like neem, jamun and ‘neredu’ should be given priority while restoring greenery.

Updated - November 17, 2021 11:04 am IST

Published - November 13, 2014 11:52 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM:

Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) 13-11-2014: Environmental activist and Magsaysay award winner Chandi Prasad Bhat addressing a press confernce along with Bhagavatula Charitable Trust secretary B. Sri Ram Murthy n Visakhapatnam on Thursday.  Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) 13-11-2014: Environmental activist and Magsaysay award winner Chandi Prasad Bhat addressing a press confernce along with Bhagavatula Charitable Trust secretary B. Sri Ram Murthy n Visakhapatnam on Thursday. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Floods in the Himalayan region and recent cyclones in the coastal regions underline their vulnerability caused by climate change, noted environmental activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt has said.

Addressing a press conference after a visit to the Hudhud-affected fishermen villages, GITAM University, zoo, Kambalakonda and the Agency areas, he said while varieties like acacia and eucalyptus were felled by the gale, the tops or branches of local varieties were blown off but the trees survived.

He said during visits to Odisha after the super cyclone and to the Andamans, he found that mangroves withstand the gale without being uprooted and said growing local species along the coast would lessen the impact of the cyclone and reduce damage.

Mr. Bhatt, recipient of Magsaysay Award and Gandhi Peace Prize, said the floods at Kedarnath, the recent J&K flood and Hudhud had highlighted the affect of climate change caused by melting of glaciers and raising sea levels.

The Chipko Movement leader, who visited the State after the 1977 Diviseema tidal wave and after cyclones in 1987 and 1990, said trees survived in the Agency area owing to social forestry programmes through Vana Samrakshana Samitis wherever the growth was thick. Mr. Bhatt, who was here on an invitation from Bhagavatula Charitable Trust (BCT), saw the havoc wrought to the trees and interacted with students of the residential school there.

BCT secretary B. Sri Ram Murthy said instead of giving importance to numbers, the trees that withstand the gale like neem, jamun and ‘neredu’ should be given priority while restoring greenery. Hills should be vegetated again. Also casuarinas should be planted along the coast in various phases so that after cutting off the grown trees other layers would remain in place.

He said two BCT farms had 180 species of trees and 80 per cent of them were uprooted by the cyclone. Various sheds for students, cafeteria, dormitories etc were also damaged.

Workshop soon

Making good use of Mr. Bhatt’s association with the Ministry of Environment, BCT would organise a workshop on the species of trees to be grown.

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