The government of Gujarat has done away with the plantation of Conocarpus trees in the "forest and non-forest regions". The reason for this as cited by the government is their adverse impacts on the environment and human health”.
The Conocarpus plant is a mangrove species that grows very quickly. In recent years, the species had been chosen to increase the green cover of the state.
On Tuesday, a circular had been issued in which SK Chaturvedi, the principal chief conservator of forests and head of forests talked about the need to limit the growth of the Conocarpus species.
The other states
The Conocarpus plant is not only banned in Gujarat but also in the state of Telangana. Additionally, there were many other plants whose growth has been done away with by many states of India. For instance, Kerala and Delhi have attempted to limit the growth of non-indigenous trees that actually harmed the local flora and fauna because of their huge abundance.
The Story of Gujarat
On September 26, Tuesday, S K. Chaturvedi talked about the need to limit the growth of Conocarpus through a circular.
“Research reports have highlighted adverse impacts/ disadvantages of this species on the environment and human health… Trees of this species flower in winter and spread pollen in nearby areas. It is learned that this is causing diseases like cold, cough, asthma, allergy, etc.…", expressed Chaturvedi.
Another reason to get away with the Conocarpus plant is that its leaves are unpalatable to animals who eat plants.
The Story of Delhi
In the year 2018, following years of appeals, the Delhi government decided to limit the growth of Vilayati Kikar. The Prosopis juliflora or the Vilayati Kikar is a species that is not native to Delhi. Actually, the plant was brought by the British to Delhi in the 1930s. The tree grows super quick, even in arid conditions. This makes it a fit choice to increase the green cover of a region super quickly. It can also be used as firewood. The problem with the plant, however, is that it also deletes the possibility of competition. Therefore, in just one decade, it took almost of of the space of the Central Ridge, here other native trees such as dhak, amaltas, kadamb, and more could be grown. Additionally, the tree also depletes the area's water table.
In the year 2016, the Madras High Court also passed an interim order that talked about the removal of such trees because of their property of depleting the water table of the area they have been planted in, as these areas had been already struggling for water.
In order to get the green cover back in a healthier way, Delhi's plan is to shorten the canopy of the trees so that it makes use of less water, and also lets sunlight reach the ground. Additionally, native trees are being planted, so that they can move ahead of the growth of Kikar.
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