1.5-lakh Casuarina trees to be planted in coastal areas of Alappuzha

Planting activities will begin in connection with ‘Vanamaholsavam’ from July 1 to 7

June 15, 2021 03:53 pm | Updated June 16, 2021 11:34 am IST - ALAPPUZHA

Casuarina plants on the Puthvype beach.

Casuarina plants on the Puthvype beach.

In a bid to protect coastal areas, the Social Forestry wing of the Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department will plant 1.5-lakh Casuarina trees in the district.

K. Saji, Assistant Conservator of Forests (Social Forestry), Alappuzha, said, the planting activities would begin in connection with ‘Vanamaholsavam’ from July 1 to 7.

“Our aim is to plant 1.5 lakh seedlings in 15 hectares between Arthunkal breakwater and Mararikulam. In the first phase, we will plant 75,000 seedlings during the ‘Vanamaholsavam’. Rest of the seedlings will be planted in a time-bound manner,” Mr. Saji said.

Casuarina has been found to be an effective bio-shield, which can minimise the impact of rough seas. “It may not be a permanent solution to sea attack, but planting Casuarina can help protect the coastline. Casuarina trees were planted in Punnapra some time ago and it has been found to be effective in checking the intensity of sea attack. Apart from protecting the coast, planting of trees will increase green cover,” Mr. Saji said.

Officials said the seedlings would be planted at a distance of 50-metre from the sea. The land between the sea and the planting site is considered ecologically important, which is being used by turtles to create nests among other such activities.

“Seedlings will be planted with the help of respective local bodies. They will further engage Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme workers to look after the plants,” said an official.

Seedlings needed for the planting drive have already been made ready at nurseries.

Apart from the 15 hectares, the Social Forestry wing would plant casuarina in 12 more hectares in the district next year.

In May 2021, sea attack left a trail of destruction along the Alappuzha coast. Strong waves dumped huge volumes of seawater, slush, and debris in houses between Thottappally and Aroor. A number of houses were destroyed or damaged after rough seas battered the coast for several days.

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