Hyderabad: The State Forest Department is gearing up to replicate the ‘Gajwel model’ of afforestation in all the 119 Assembly constituencies in the State with officials preparing plans to repeat the success they achieved in Gajwel.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had, last Wednesday, called on all district administrations to ensure revival of forests in the State. It was during a field visit of a team comprising Ministers and all District Collectors in Gajwel constituency on August 21 that the Chief Minister said plans should be made for revival of forests in the State and that these plans should also be implemented immediately.
“We are preparing plans for tree planting and afforestation in at least one forest block in all the 119 constituencies,” a senior Forest Department official said. Right now, district level officials are working at identifying the forest blocks as well as making detailed plans. “We hope we will be ready with this in about a week,” the official said. The actual work on the field is expected to begin soon after.
The Forest Department is aiming at eventually restoring tree cover, either through plantation or assisted natural regeneration in 12 lakh hectares of degraded or open forest land in the State. The Telanganaku Haritha Haaram programme has already made huge progress towards this target with trees being planted in such forest lands across the State over the past four years.
During the field visit, the Chief Minister showed the team accompanying him the results of tree planting and assisted natural regeneration of forests in Singayapalli and Nentur villages where efforts by the Forest Department over the past three years had resulted in healthy young trees and denser forest cover. The Forest Department also had good success with growing and protecting trees in about 745 hectare around the Komatibanda Mission Bhagiratha facility, which was also visited by the Chief Minister-led team.
“We had treated about 2,500 hectares to rejuvenate forests in Gajwel. Part of the work was to assist degraded forests to grow by themselves,” the official added.
In this method, a degraded forest area is not ‘treated’ with fresh planting of saplings as is done in forest land that over a period of time, is felled of all its natural growth. “What we do is protect the forest from any kind of interference, whether it is from people or animals. Because of the existing trees which shed their seeds that are now offered protection to grow, we have seen good results,” the official said.
A similar experiment has also been done in the Narsapur forest area near Medak but here, the challenge was to ensure that no fires occur during summer. “This was the single instruction to our staff and they built several fire lines. The result is now there to see with some parts of Naraspur forest practically becoming impenetrable,” the official added.