Mangaluru: Kasaravalli in Navoor village of Belthangady taluk situated in the foothills of Kudremukh was the hub of activity on Sunday with environmentalists and nature lovers launching a unique programme to plant saplings of fruit bearing trees. The habitat comes under Kudremukh National Park (KNP).
Amidst heavy rain, 62 nature lovers visited the small village to participate in the 'Hasiru Hodike,' project organised by National Environment Care Federation (NECF). The saplings were planted in land which was recently taken over by the forest department from those who had opted to move out of the National Park under the rehabilitation scheme.
Several forest dwellers within KNP have voluntarily handed over their land to the forest department after receiving compensation. As per procedure, the forest department clears all the commercial crops like coconut, arecanut, coffee and rubber after taking control of the land to ensure that it is reclaimed and gets natural forest growth.
With the help of the forest department, NECF along with nature lovers has decided to plant saplings in one such area in the foothills of Kudremukh peak. "We have planted 318 saplings of various varieties found in the Western Ghats. We will go to the place again to check their growth," NECF state secretary Shashidhar Shetty said.
Sahyadri Sanchaya convener Dinesh Holla feels planting fruit bearing trees in the border areas would not only help in increasing the green cover but could stop wild animals from entering the villages.
"In many places, herbivorous animals enter villages in search of food. This results in damage to the crops of villagers. The presence of fruit bearing trees in the borders of the forest could stop the animals from entering the village,"activist Dinesh Holla told Deccan Chronicle.
"Already Western Ghat's natural green cover is disappearing due to various projects and illegal activities by private individuals and planters. This move is a small effort to increase the natural green cover in the border areas of Kudremukh forest," he said.