At a time when MGNREGS is associated with misuse of funds and irregularities, the Asundi gram panchayat has utilised its funds for growing saplings which will be planted around the village as soon as the rains begin in June.
The gram panchayat has set aside Rs five lakh of the MGNREGS grant for the purpose. More than 55,000 saplings are being grown at the Government school premises in the village, of which about 50,000 saplings are teak and the remaining are banyan, pongamia and neem. The forest department is supporting the gram panchayat in its endeavour.
Trees on both sides of road
Two women from the school have been watering and taking care of the saplings for the past two and a half months.
Two villages –– Asundi and Mallasamudra –– come under this gram panchayat and the plan is to plant the saplings on both sides of the road, areas identified as parks in layouts and on one side of agricultural fields.
The gram panchayat has already begun digging pits for planting the saplings.
Elaborating on the initiative, gram panchayat member Somareddy Ramenahalli said: “Every year 20 per cent of the MGNREGS funds allotted to the gram panchayat is given to the forest department. But the department not only plants saplings haphazardly, but does not take care of them. So we decided to set up a nursery ourselves with the funds.”
After gram panchayat president M M Hosamani, vice president Shakuntala Mulagunda and members gave their go ahead, the idea was put to action, Somareddy added.