Cyclone Fani claimed 22.9 lakh trees in Odisha

Cyclone Fani claimed 22.9 lakh trees in Odisha

A tree at Budh Vihar that lies uprooted in the aftermath of cyclone Fani, in Bhubaneswar, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (PTI file photo)

Fani, the extremely severe cyclonic storm that ravaged the coastal districts of Odisha in the first week of May claimed as many as 21.9 lakh trees, the latest government report said. More than one lakh trees were destroyed in state capital Bhubaneswar alone.

Of these 21.9 lakh trees, 9 lakh were destroyed within the forest and sanctuary areas. The rest have perished outside the forest and sanctuary areas including urban centres like capital city Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and the temple town of Puri where the storm had its landfall.

Among the urban centres, the highest number of 1,02,883 trees were destroyed in Bhubaneswar followed by Puri(49,459), Cuttack(17,691), Jatni town(3,473) and Khurda town(496). Bhubaneswar, Jatni and Khurda are part of coastal Khurda district. Fani also claimed trees in other coastal districts like Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur.

The forest and environment department had made an attempt to keep alive the half broken and half uprooted trees with technical support from experts. In fact, nearly 15 thousand half dead trees have been given “fresh life” in different areas. The process is still on.

The government has also launched a massive drive to revive and restore the green cover of the entire coastal belt which was severe damaged by Fani. A special programme called “Post Fani Coastal Shelter Belt and Afforestation Mission” has been taken up under which as many as 80 lakh saplings will be planted in different areas.

It is also being planned to distribute 50 lakh saplings among people in different affected districts free of coast. In fact, the forest department has already opened 25 kiosks for this free sapling distribution programme in districts like Puri, Khurda and Cuttack. Of this, 11 kiosks have been set up in Bhubaneswar city.