On World Environment Day, Chamundi Hills gets a seed ball shower

Volunteers and others with the seed balls that were planted at Chamundi Devi Vana on Monday.

Volunteers and others with the seed balls that were planted at Chamundi Devi Vana on Monday.  

Chamundi Hills witnessed a ‘seed ball bombing’ on Monday in a bid to increase the green cover there as part of World Environment Day.

Organised by the district administration and the Forest Department, in association with various NGOs led by Clean Mysuru Foundation, 3,000 seed balls were planted in and around the Chamundi Devi Vana at the foothills belonging to the Forest Department.

While Clean Mysuru Foundation has nearly 70,000 seed balls ready for sowing, or ‘bombing’ as it were, the long-term objective is to ensure that at least 5 lakh seed balls are sown to increase the green cover at Chamundi Hills, said C.G. Betsurmath, president of the foundation. The foundation has set a target of readying 5 lakh seed balls before the end of monsoon.

This will be an ongoing programme to increase the green cover and conserve the environment in Mysuru and surrounding regions; the actual sowing will take place during monsoon. The Clean Mysuru Foundation recently launched the ‘Green Chamundi Abhiyan’, as part of which the seed balls are being prepared. The saplings to be planted are environmentally sustainable under natural conditions.

Deputy Conservator of Forests V. Karikalan said the success rate of saplings born out of seed balls tends to be high. “The seeds were procured from the Forest Department nursery and they were whetted and certified before distribution, for we wanted to ensure that only the native species were planted. In case exotic species are inadvertently sowed, they would supplant the existing species on Chamundi Hills and, instead of fruit-bearing trees that sustain wildlife, there would be ornamental plants or even weeds overrunning the existing tree cover,” he said.

Chamundeshwari constituency MLA G.T. Devegowda called upon the district administration to make it mandatory for all government institutions, including schools, colleges and public offices, to cultivate trees in open spaces and maintain a grove if there is adequate space.

Referring to last year’s drought and water scarcity, Mr. Devegowda said such natural calamities should make people more responsible towards the environment and the imperatives of environment conservation. He lauded the efforts of the Forest Department to ensure the success rate of saplings blossoming into trees and cited examples of hundreds of saplings planted nine months ago that have withstood the severity of drought thanks to the department’s care.

Pratap Simha, MP, said the concept of environment protection was enshrined in the Indian traditionand has to be revived and imbibed into one’s lifestyle.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 8:17:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/on-world-environment-day-chamundi-hills-gets-a-seed-ball-shower/article18724853.ece

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