Friday, June 13, 2008

Aravali Mountains to become green again, and again and again

  • A small news item in the vernacular daily amar ujala caught my eye. The gist of the item goes as follows

    =Forest department to plant 23 lac saplings
    This is double the number of saplings which were planted last year (i.e. last year they planted 12.5lac saplings)
    =Selected 200 villages where along with gram panchayat’s plantation will be done.(wonder in how many villages it was done last year, did the gram panchayat get involved last year or not?)
    =This 23 lacs will be spread over districts of gurgon, rewari,mewat,mahendergarh and faridabad.
    =Out of 325 villages, 200 have been choosen(wonder what the selection criterion was?)
    =The department will plant 23 lacs saplings while another 35 lacs saplings will be given out free.

    Breakup of the plantations is as follows

    Gurgaon 1lac 76thousand
    Faridabad 3lac 80thousand
    Mewat 4lacs
    Mehendrgarh 7lac 85 thousand
    Rewari 5lac 91thousand

    Reading this some questions came to my mind

    =Is there any idea of the 12.5 lacs saplings planted last year what was the survival rate?
    =If we assume that before the aravali project started there was 0% forest cover on the aravali, the project would have increased that forest cover to say x%. these annual plantation exercises should thus incrementally increase that forest cover. Has it happened ? (in mewat where I travel regularly I can say absolutely not, in Gurgaon I see a lot of kikkar. Locals tell me forest department spread kikkar seeds . u see kikkar if not managed grows as a weed and overpowers native species.)
    =How will the free supply be done? (Obviously when saplings have been made it has incurred costs. So mode of free supply important. 35lacs saplings are a lot of saplings to be given free. It can’t be one to one, it has to be through retail outlets, which ones and how? )
    =Which species of plants will be selected? Not kikkar. Kikkar overruns most native species and ruins a forest. I also did a background check on kikkar here are the results

    Current name: Prosopis chilensis
    Family: Fabaceae - Mimosoideae
    Prosopis chilensis is a small to medium sized tree up to 12 m in height and 1 m in diameter; bark brown, fissured; spines a pair, stout, yellow, glabrous; root system reportedly shallow and spreading. The leaves are compound, each with numerous leaflets along several pairs of pinnae. P. chilensis has 10-29 leaflets per pinnae and no more than two pairs of pinnae per leaf. The leaflets are about 1 cm apart. The flowers are greenish-white to yellow, abundant and occur in spike-like racemes. The pods are beige to off-white, about 15 cm long and 15 mm wide. The pods have a tendency to be rolled up along the axis. Seeds many, bean-shaped, oblong, 6-7 mm long, flattened, brown, each in 4-angled case.

    History of cultivation In South Africa and South West Africa (Namibia), P. chilensis was introduced in 1912 by Dinter (a botanist), who distributed it widely as a fodder and shade tree over the next few years. In other countries such as the Sudan, it has been introduced by foresters to combat desertification and is now a widespread weed in most areas of western and central parts of the country.Natural HabitatP. chilensis is found in the arid and semi-arid regions with ground water of between 3 and 10 m below the surface, such as drainage channels along ground water sinks. It has been observed to grow in seawater salinity. It is a common ruderal weed, coming up singly and in groups along roadsides, round habitations, on refuse dumps and in other disturbed habitats.

Geographic distribution Native : Argentina, Chile, Peru, UruguayExotic : Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, United States of America

1 comment:

Gulia said...

Dear Abhay,
It is really very knowledgeable article by you. I want to study the Solid Waste Management system of Faridabad city, Could you plz help me in this matter.