TRICHY: The State Highways department has launched an ambitious drive to plant 10 native tree saplings for every tree that was uprooted in the district during the Gaja cyclone last year. As the highways department has identified 1,001 trees maintained by it to have fallen in the district, mostly in Manapparai, it will plant 10,010 saplings within the next six months.
“More than 8 varieties of native trees species will be planted as replacement for the trees maintained by us lost in the cyclone last year. A majority of the trees lost were from Manapparai sub-division while the city had also lost a few well-grown trees,” said R Krishnasami, divisional engineer with state highways department.
Saplings of native tree breeds including Indian lilac (Vembu), Pongamia (Pungai), Mahua (Iluppai), Peepal tree (Arasamaram) and Albizia lebbeck (Vagai) will be procured along with metal cages to protect the saplings from cattle. In Trichy division of the state highways department covering Trichy, Manapparai, Lalgudi, Thuraiyur and Musiri sub-divisions, officials said that each sub-division has been provided with a water tanker to maintain the trees and saplings.
“If needed, using the maintenance fund allotted to us, we can even rope in private water tankers to water and maintain the saplings,” official sources in highways department added. The initiative to plant 10,010 tree saplings in Trichy district was formally launched by chief engineer (construction & maintenance) N Shanthi on Thursday. The severe cyclonic storm Gaja that made landfall near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district on November 16, 2018, uprooted lakhs of trees in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, and Pudukkottai.