Plantation drive likely to affect biodiversity: Experts

Experts said that only planting trees will not help in making the city green, improving biodiversity should also be planned. 

Published: 13th July 2017 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2017 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Telangana government’s ambitious project, Telangana Ku Haritha Haaram (TKHH) will not contribute much towards improving biodiversity in the state and might help in just creating ‘green deserts’. Experts feel that the plantation drive might even affect the deteriorating biodiversity in the state’s forests.

There is a need to protect the rapidly declining natural forests in Telangana for conserving the state’s biodiversity. Since 2015 when TKHH was launched, till now around 450 hectares of forest land has been encroached in Telangana. 

There are close to 2,800 species of flora in Telangana as per the Telangana State Bioidiversity Board. Compared to this, the state government will be populating the state’s forest and non-forest areas with just over 100 species of plants and trees. 

‘Plan of seed balls will not work for TS’
Dr M Venkat Ramana of department of Botany, Nizam College said, “The government is proceeding with plantations for achieving growth in green cover without scientific plans. For example, the plan of seed balls might have worked in other states like Karnataka but it will not work in Telangana as the climate here is different. The seeds will not germinate and just dry. Another example is that there are 15-20 wild fruit tree species in Telangana that play an important role in providing food to animals but they are not being planted. Improving biodiversity should also be plan and not just increasing green cover.” 

Podu cultivators allegedly set 10,000 saplings on fire
Podu cultivators allegedly burnt as many as 10,000 saplings by pouring kerosene on them which were kept ready for  Haritha Haaram by the forest officials at Pedavankatapuram village in Allapalli mandal on Wednesday.  Over 4,000 saplings were removed a week ago. Keeping this in view, the forest officials lodged complaint against podu cultivators at Allapalli police station on Wednesday against tribal people for damaging the saplings.  

According to information, a tussle has been going on between tribal and forest officials over 11 hectares of land for the last several years over ownership of the land. Few days ago, the forest officials planted 4,000 saplings but the tribal removed them later. Meanwhile, the forest officials have brought about 10,000 saplings but the tribal allegedly burnt them. 

More from Telangana.


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