Monday, 14 September 2009

Special drive launched to plant peepul, banyan saplings in Ganjam district

BERHAMPUR: Efforts were made to bring back peepul and banyan trees back to skyline in areas near Hinjli in Ganjam district. Over 2,000 saplings of banyan and peepul were planted by school students, social activists and volunteers in a plantation drive. These saplings were planted by the side of the NH 217 in a distance of seven km between Hinjli and Kanchudu. Public meetings and street plays were also held to promote these plantations.
Rapid urbanisation has reduced the number of banyan and peepul tress. Most of them were by the side of roads and had to cut down for their widening. In the past these trees were the chosen ones to be planted by the side of roads as they provided shade. But during plantation drives in recent years these trees were not the preferred lot. Although peepul and banyan are being rarely planted they are the first victims of urbanisation.
According to forest officials, peepul and banyan trees are no more chosen to be planted in urban areas as they need large amount of space to grow. They spread out laterally. To support its large canopy, the prop roots of these trees also have to cover a large area. Added to it the timber of peepul and banyan trees has little commercial value in comparison to other trees. But according to botanists, these plants are the best examples of re-chargers of our environment.

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