Hyderabad: The Telangana Forest Department has recently started planting activities(Compensatory Afforestation) in 7 districts to cover 2653.121 hac of non forest lands given in lieu of 3367.139 hac of forest land diverted for Kaleshwaram Project.
Another highlight of this is taking up Compensatory Afforesttation or plantation on Non Forest Areas even before the commissioning of project and much ahead of schedule is clear reflection of State Government’s commitment and efforts towards environment specially making it green.
Various interventions like complete protection of areas by way of chain linked fencing to rejuvenate the existing forest, planting interventions suiting local needs and using innovative techniques at hostile locations and various soil and moisture conservation measures for improvement of moisture regime are being taken up by the department.
More than 50 % of the area fall in Karimnagar Circle covering three districts of RajannaSircilla, jagtiyal and Peddapalli where 1752.198hacwas handed over to Forest Department in lieu of Diverted forest. More than 34 blocks of different areas at diverse locations in three districts are being taken up for planting for the last one month.
Out of total target of planting 192000 plants in 34 Blocks, 140000 pits have been dug so far and planting has been completed in 124784 numbers in three districts of Karimnagar Circle.
The Challenges involved in planting in these area are scattered locations, Undulating hilly terrain with boulders and rocky outcrops and varied site and soil conditions ,unpreparedness of the department ( as per plan the planting was to be taken up from 2020 onwards) ,Hostile terrain and dealing with areas that were subjected to frequent biotic pressures and degradation.
Only tall plants more than 2 meter height.
1. Only native species Like Neem,Seetahpahal,Vepa, Nemilinara, Rela, Teak etc
2. Preference to Ravi, Marri, Juvi being most suited for these locations having rocks and soil with boulders.
3. Plain areas with regular planting in 3 X 3 metrsspecing.
4. Upper foothills with boulders and less soil areexperimneted with new planting techniques like Gunny bags planting or canister planting where the importing of soil and traditional bag plantings not useful and uneconomical.
5. Use of existing Staggered trenches dug under MNREGA for planting specially Seethaphal and other native species.
6. Complete protection of all blocks from Biotic interferncesby erecting chain linked fence in all blocks . This year only 5 important blocks are being covered (3 in Sircillaandone each in Peddapalli and Jagtiyal)
7. Soil and Moisture conservations works like trenches, rock filled dam and mini tanks at lower foot hills depending on the site conditions.
8. Involving local communities in planting and subsequent protection for better development of area and sharing benefits of usufructs for their livelihood needs.
Apart from planting quality native species of various kinds, another attempt has been made to involve the local villagers from Mudiraj community by planting seethaphal in selected suitable locations being undertaken under C A plantation programme of kaleshwaram project mainly in Sircilla district.
Seethaphal once used to be the main source of livelihood mainly for the people belonging to Mudiraj Community but due to rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and infrastructure growth the areas having good potential for its cultivation are getting shrinked considerably.
This tested method of involving local communities by ensuring their participation in planting Seethapahal (Annonasquamosa) a species known for its delicious taste and nutritional value the forest department in being taken up in Sircilla district.
The members of local Mudiraj Community from Bonala, Sarampalli,Thimmapur, Damannapet & Baswapur villages took part in planting activity in Bonala block as part of ongoing Haritha Haram IV phase. On 25thJuly 2018, around 60 villagers of Mudiraj Socitiesincluding their President Sri Padigelaxmaiah and Sri T.VasnathaNarsimha Mandal Vice President TRSChinnabonala participated in planting seethapahal in Bonala areas in the presence of APCCF Karimnagar Mohan ChnadraParagien.
The local DFO Sircilla VSrinivas Rao, FRO Sircilla alongwith their staff supervised the programme . So far around 47000 plants have been planted in various locations and another 50000 are under process of planting at suitable locations.
The plants which are expected to yield after 3-4 years are bound to provide a sustained source of livelihood to these villagers who have promised to take care of the protection and care of these plants in coming years .