Green cover at Pilikula set to go up by further 30 acres

11:35 AM, Monday, October 9th, 2017

pilikulaMangaluru: Green cover at Dr Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama at Moodushedde near here will increase by a further 30-acres during the next one-year. All this thanks to step taken by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd under its Green Belt Project under the theme – A step towards a greener planet. The state’s only refinery in the first phase of this project has already planted 2000 plants endemic to Western Ghat in 20 acre area at the Nisargadhama.

Dedicating the first phase of the project and flagging off the second phase was minister for forest, environment and ecology B Ramanath Rai on Sunday in the presence of MRPL officials – M Venkatesh, and A K Sahoo, directors – refinery and finance respectively and officials of KSPCB. The second phase will see Nisargadhama with financial assistance of Rs 40 lakh from MRPL plant 7,000 plants endemic to Western Ghats at the Pilikula biological park.

H Jayaprakash Bhandary, director, Pilikula Biological Park said MRPL has expended Rs 30 lakh on the first phase that was completed in around 18-months wherein 2,000 plants endemic to the Western Ghats were planted. “MRPL will maintain these plants over next three years,” he said. In the second phase, acacia plants that grow in abundance in the biological park area will be cleared in patches and fresh plant saplings endemic to the region planted there, he added.

Averring that acacia was planted when Nisargadhama and the biological park was being planned, Bhandary said they are not good for the environment. “Acacia leaves take ages to get converted to humus and their presence on ground forms layer that does not allow easy percolation of rainwater to the ground,” he said adding the acacia trees that are now into their second and third regeneration phase since they were initially planted will be felled in a phased manner.

Incidentally, the Arboretum developed jointly by the Nisargadhama and Mangalore University abutting the Biological Park spread across 80 acres has 10,000 plants – all endemic to Western Ghats, Bhandary said, adding the two phases of the project will see the green cover in the region go up to 130 acres. Prashant Baliga, DGM (CC), MRPL said the company has taken up the project as part of compensatory afforestation as mandated by the MoEF to industries.

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