THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The need for open green spaces has become increasingly important, especially for combating climate change and global warming. Setting an example, Thiruvananthapuram has become the first district in the state to create green spaces in all local bodies.Under the Pachathuruthu (green space) project of the Haritha Keralam Mission, about 328 green spaces have already been set up in the district in the last two years. Efforts are being made by the authorities to create 100 more green spaces in the district by the end of this year.
“Since its launch in 2019, the initiative was successfully implemented in about 73 grama panchayats and four municipalities in the district. Currently, green spaces have been set up on nearly 41 acres of land across the district. On these plots, about 13,108 trees, 8,326 bushes and 841 climbers have been planted,” said Humayoon D, district coordinator of Haritha Keralam Mission.
The initiative is implemented with the assistance of the agriculture department, the local bodies, the social forestry department, biodiversity board, environment organisations, employment guarantee scheme and various people’s representatives. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the first-ever green space in the state on June 5, 2019. It was set up at the Vengode Family Health Centre in Pothencode grama panchayat.
Highlighting the concept behind launching the Pachathuruthu scheme, Humayoon says, “It was observed that every year during Environment Day, many saplings were planted. However, there was no data on how many plants were surviving as they were hardly nurtured.
To protect the saplings planted every year in the state, CM suggested a scheme to increase and protect green spaces in the state.”One of the largest pachathuruthu in the district is located at Kallikkad grama panchayat. About four acres of land belonging to Kerala Tourism District Corporation near the dam site at Kallikkad has been used for setting up the green space.
The district also set up a green space on the premises of a police station. “In about 30 cents of land adjacent to the Pangodu police station, a pachathuruthu has been set up, which has medicinal plants and other indigenous plant varieties. A similar space is created at the Neyyattinkara police station. Authorities conduct frequent visits to these areas for maintenance and replantation. We are planning to provide more than two lakh saplings from the nurseries developed as part of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS),” said the official. He added that about 3 lakh saplings have already been provided to all local bodies.
One of the largest green space is located at Kallikkad grama panchayat. About four acres of land belonging to KTDC has been used for setting up the green space there