Bengal to plant over 85 million saplings to restore damage caused by cyclone Amphan
While chief minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said that that 50 million mangrove saplings would be planted in the Sunderban – the world’s only mangrove where tigers live – another 35 million would be planted across the state.Updated: Jun 05, 2020 23:21 IST
The West Bengal government will plant over 85 million saplings of trees, including 50 million mangrove saplings, across the state in the next six months to restore the damage caused by cyclone Amphan.
While chief minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said that that 50 million mangrove saplings would be planted in the Sunderban – the world’s only mangrove where tigers live – another 35 million would be planted across the state.
“We will plant around 50,000 saplings in Kolkata alone. Another 35 million saplings would be planted across the state. This apart 50 million saplings of mangrove would be planted in the Sunderban over the next six months,” she said while addressing a government program organised on the World Environment Day on June 5.
Lakhs of trees have been either uprooted or severely damaged by the storm which had ravaged through eight districts in West Bengal. Around 100 million people have been affected.
“At least 16,000 trees have been uprooted in Kolkata alone. The Sunderban have also suffered massive damage. Around 1600 sq km out ofthe 4200 sq km of forest area has been damaged in the Sunderban,” the chief minister said.
The Sunderban the world’s largest mangrove delta and sprawls over India and Bangladesh. The Indian part comprises 102 islands, of which 54 have human settlements while the rest have forest. It has around 4200 sq km of forest crisscrossed by rivers and creeks. There are around 100 tigers in the Indian part of the Sunderban.
“While planting in saplings in Kolkata we have to keep in mind the species which needs to be planed. I have seen huge trees uprooted, while slim and young Neem trees were safe. We have to plant young and hardy trees,” she added.
Taking lessons from the cyclone, the city’s civic body is planning to change the pattern of tree plantation. It was found that most of the trees that got uprooted were Gulmohar, Eucalyptus and Indian almond.
These trees earlier got a preference because they grow quick and help the city’s beautification. However, since it has been found that these trees are not strong enough to withstand strong winds, Kolkata municipal authorities will henceforth focus on planting, mango, neem, saal, Giant Crape-myrtle.