SRIKAKULAM: As Srikakulam has only 12 per cent of green cover in the district as against the recommended average of 33 per cent for ecological balance, district forest officials (social and territorial) in association with several departments have been conducting plantation drives in a big way in the district.
About 50 lakh saplings were planted by July-end this year as against the target of 1.2 crore. Although a massive plantation drive was taken up in the district previously, the cyclone Titli destroyed huge number of trees. Big trees and several plants were uprooted. During the cyclone Titli, about three lakh coconut and cashew trees were also uprooted in the district.
Similarly, about three lakh trees in the coastal areas and roadsides were destroyed. The average green cover in the State is 24 per cent which is almost nine per cent less than the national policy. Similarly, the forest area in the district is 21 per cent less than the recommended average. As Srikakulam has the longest costal line in the State—about 193 km—the effect of cyclones is much severe than in other districts in the State, DFO, Srikakulam, B Dhanunjaya Rao said.