The initiative by the Society for Ecological and Environmental Resources (SEER), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), to beautify the town by planting yellow kaner (yellow oleander) peruviana), an evergreen tropical shrub or small tree, has failed to succeed as stray cattle have badly damaged the shrubs. Only a small number of plants have survived. The indifferent attitude of the local municipal committee and the district administration is also responsible for it, as they did not do anything to save the plantations.
The SEER had planted about 500 saplings of the tree about 7 to 8 years ago and also built tree guard structures to protect them. But, now many tree guards have been damaged by stray cattle and some of them have been allegedly stolen.
“We had taken the initiative of beautifying the circular road and had planted nearly 500 saplings of yellow kaner. This ornamental shrub was selected because it has bitterness in its leaves and animals do not eat them. Besides, it also requires less water and can survive only on rain water. But, stray cattle have badly damaged most plantations in spite of efforts to save them,” said Sandeep Arora, a member of the NGO.
He said, “When stray cattle sit on the divider in the sun during the winter season and rub their bodies against tree guards or shrubs, they damage them.”
He said the municipal committee has also failed to protect them by securing tree guards and taking other steps to save them from stray cattle. “Had the shrubs grown properly on the divider of the road, yellow flowers all through the year would have added to the beauty of the surroundings,” said Jagdish Chand, a shopkeeper on the circular road.
“The municipal committee is only six-month-old. We are now seized of the matter. We will try our best to provide tree guards and re-plant shrubs where needed. We shall also find a solution to the problem of stray cattle, so that the plantation is not damaged,” said Uma Grover, president of the municipal committee.