Growing saplings at Sarasala in Telangana defeat attackers of foresters

Foresters inspecting a sapling at the plantation at Kotha Sarasala.

Foresters inspecting a sapling at the plantation at Kotha Sarasala.   | Photo Credit: S. Harpal Singh

Villagers attacked unarmed foresters including a woman Range Officer at this spot

In about six months, the contentious 20-hectare degraded forest land close to Kotha Sarasala village in Kagaznagar Forest Division has transformed into a nascent forest, if the 22,200 sapling plantation can be called that. It was on June 30 that the infamous incident of physical attack on a team of unarmed foresters, including a woman Range Officer, had taken place turning the land into a battle ground.

Thousands of bamboo sticks, which some of the attackers had used as weapons on that eventful day, now support the saplings in the plantation that has recorded a high survival rate. “The plantation has become a fine example of habitat restoration,” observed Kumram Bheem Asifabad District Forest Officer Laxman Ranjeet Naik as he talked of the turn around of the degraded forest land, about 11 km from Kagaznagar town on the road to Penchikalpet.

“The plantation has been taken up in compartments 133, 134 and 136 in Raspalli beat and section of Kadamba and Kadamba extension-X Reserve Forest,” Kagaznagar Divisional Forest Officer Vijay Kumar pointed out. It is part of compensatory afforestation for the loss of tree cover due to construction of Kaleshwaram Project.

The Forest Department took up the plantation at the State-level itself as a matter of prestige. On July 1, some 300 officers and personnel from 13 districts participated in the drive to plant saplings as a mark of solidarity with the officers who were attacked.

“A lot of effort is being put in to nurture the plantation,” affirmed the DFO. “Circular and deep soil weeding will be done for the top soil to get loose and absorb moisture,” he explained.

The-20 hectare area will soon have a barbed wire fencing so that the plantation is secured. “The fencing will ensure complete protection of the plants which is necessary right now,” the DFO added.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:24:34 PM |

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