BENGALURU: In order to revive rivers and restore the fertility of soil, 242 crore saplings will be planted along 85,000 sq km of the banks of the river Cauvery in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
This is part of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s ‘Rally for Rivers’ movement, which has received a thumbs up from the state governments.
The initiative aims at growing trees over the next 12 years on 80 per cent of the riverbank, which is agricultural land.
This will impact 2.2 million farmers in Karnataka. While softwood timber is meant to last four years, hardwood is intended to last longer.
This will be interspersed with pepper vines, said members of the initiative.
He was confident that lesser land allocated to agricultural crops by growing timber would help increase foliage and thus increase soil fertility.
This move will impact eight districts in the state through which the river flows.
While expressing concerns about over Rs 1 lakh crore worth timber products being imported, Sadhguru said that nurseries will be established in the river basin that will implement tissue culture to grow the 242 crore saplings.
This is in addition to the 32 nurseries already set up in Tamil Nadu. A central lab would also be established.
“Technology will be employed for intensive afforestation. Micro-irrigation sensor technology will be used to for providing moisture and water to saplings,” said BIOCON founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.