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Govt moves to create natural barrier along the vulnerable coast: Nine lakh trees planted in Odisha in the aftermath of Cyclone Yaas

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced the government’s resolve to create a massive green cover after Cyclone Yass barreled through Odisha on 26 May.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

The Odisha government created a natural barrier with the plantation of around nine lakh trees along the coastal belt to compensate for the loss of greenery in the aftermath of the 26 May cyclone Yaas.

“Around nine lakh trees were planted along with the Balukhand wildlife sanctuary in Puri district to Dhamra river mouth in Bhadrak district at 2,430 hectares patch of government land. The forest department which carried out the afforestation work spent at Rs 7.09 crore in this regard”, the Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha informed the State assembly recently in a written reply.

The district-wise breakup of the afforested areas is 1,635 hectares in Puri, 440 hectares in Kendrapara, 320 hectares in Jagatsinghpur, 25 hectares in Balasore, and 10 hectares in Ganjam district

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced the government’s resolve to create a massive green cover after Cyclone Yass barreled through Odisha on 26 May. Accordingly, the State forest department had taken up the task of raising greenery in coastal patches, marked by vulnerability to cyclonic storms and tidal surge, the Minister told the House.

The State government has drawn up a plan to raise greenery from Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam district to Udaypur in Balasore district. The emphasis will be on planting cyclone-resistant trees. The proposal in this regard is likely to be approved shortly, he added.

Side by side with the restoration of damaged infrastructure due to cyclone Yaas, tree plantation should have been undertaken on a massive scale. But the plantation work has been done on a lesser scale.

The plantation of nine lakh trees was highly inadequate to compensate for the cyclone-induced loss of green cover. The casuarina and eucalyptus trees are susceptible to cyclones and storms. The government agencies should keep away from planting these species, said green activists.