Thanks to the Forest Department for taking up the task of converting Mangalore into a greener city by planting varieties of saplings in the taluk limits.
Planting 1 lakh saplings in Mangalore taluk within a period of three years is a well known fact, but the novelty and experimentations coupled with it is perhaps lesser known to all. The department which has planted 15,000 saplings in the city premises this year has chosen flowering trees of 10 different colours and 20 types of shade-bearing trees. With a view to make the city look more beautiful and colourful, the department has planned to grow flowering trees of 20 different colours and 40 varieties of shade bearing trees in the next year.
Speaking to City Herald, Range Forest Officer Clifford Lobo said that the department has decided to plant saplings on 80:20 ratio. If 80 per cent of the plants planted are of indigenous varieties suiting the region’s climate, the rest 20 per cent of the plants are imported ones.
“Saplings that are in the planting list includes Neem, Pride of India (Hole Dasavala), Ashoka, Bhendi tree, Amherstia, Alexandrian laurel, African tulip and Bottle Brush among others. Some of the above mentioned plants add fragrance and colour to the city while others contribute fresh air,” informed Lobo.
With a big ‘no’ to haphazard plantation, the department has stressed on planting saplings in a systematic way in the public places to such an extent that it has planted Champak (sampige) flowers on both the sides of the road that lead to temples. Similarly, there are also forethoughts to plant Christmas trees on the roads that approach to churches. “The department has planted 1 lakh Khaskhas grass (Lavancha) as a soil binder near Bengre. The department has decided to extend Lavancha plantation programme to all other beach regions next year as the plantation is believed to be very useful,” said Clifford Lobo.
Under the theme plantation initiative, the saplings bearing similar colours of flowers will be planted in each lane to give a uniform look to the city roads. While already planted saplings are nurtured well by time to time manuring, trimming and soil loosening the department is now insisting for the public co-operation to accomplish the task of planting 75,000 more saplings. Lobo said that the department is geared up to take needed suggestions from the public.
“To achieve the set goal, we request citizens to approach and inform the department officials about the new lanes, roads, residential areas and cemeteries in the city so that we will take up the work of plating saplings in those areas. In fact, the department prefers to visit the spot and plant saplings on its own rather than distributing saplings, as most of the time the distributed saplings are misused or wasted,” adds Lobo.
The department has resolved to plant saplings irrespective of the size of available empty land. “The vacant land for planting saplings need not be necessarily huge. We don’t mind to plant two or three saplings in a small vacant place too as even a single tree contributes greatly in favour of the environment,” tells Lobo.
Forest department is keen to involve all the 60 corporators for effective implementation of ward wise sapling plantation programme. Accordingly, the corporators will be asked to identify the places within their ward limits where the saplings could be planted.