The Forest Department has started enumerating casuarina, teak and other plantation trees which were either uprooted or suffered heavy damage in Cyclone Gaja.
The exercise follows a letter from the Agriculture Production Commissioner to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. The cyclone has uprooted casuarina and teak trees raised on vast areas on public and private lands in the delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, besides Pudukottai district.
The forest officials have been asked to take up enumeration work at once so as to arrive at the compensation to be given to the farmers. The work is under way in Pudukottai district in the five forest ranges of Pudukottai, Keeranur, Aranthangi, Ponnamaravathy and Tirumayam. Forest officials said several affected farmers had given applications to the department with details of the extent of damage caused to trees on their lands.
Over 1,200 applications from farmers have been received by the Pudukottai range that encompasses Pudukottai, Alangudi, Gandharvakottai and Iluppur taluks. Officials said trees of different species raised by farmers in the fertile belts of Alangudi, Karambakudi and Gandharavakottai had been uprooted in the cyclone.
In addition to casuarina and teak, rosewood, red sanders, neem, tamarind and pungan had been uprooted. Similar exercise is under way at Orathanadu, Pattukottai and Peravurani in neighbouring Thanjavur district
The State government gave financial assistance to farmers who lost their trees in the Thane Cyclone that struck Cuddalore and Villupuram districts in 2011.