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Significant Success in Creating Nursery for Sal Trees

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13 Jun 24
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RRVUNL and Adani Enterprises' Horticulture Department Achieve Major Milestone

Significant Success in Creating Nursery for Sal Trees

Jaipur: It has always been said that the Sal tree is a wild tree that grows naturally in dense forests and cannot be cultivated elsewhere. However, these myths have now been debunked. The officers and employees of the Horticulture Department of Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RRVUNL) and Adani Enterprises Limited have not only established a nursery for Sal plants but also successfully grown them in the reclamation area of mines, creating a new forest. Over the past ten years, more than 87,000 Sal plants have been planted as mixed plantations, which have now grown into trees approximately 20 to 30 feet tall.

According to the Horticulture Department, RRVUNL's Parasa East Kete Basen open mine project is located in the Udaipur Tehsil of Surguja district. Mining work commenced in 2012, and according to annual targets set by the Forest Department, some trees are felled in the forest. Various tree species, such as Sal, Mahua, Khair, Banyan, Bija, Harra, and Bahera, are included, among which the Sal tree is unique for its natural growth in forests and its wood, which is resistant to termites. There is a saying that the Sal tree stands for 100 years and remains intact as wood for another 100 years.

It is noteworthy that RRVUNL's Parasa East Kanta Basen (PEKB) mine, awarded a five-star rating by the Ministry of Coal for four consecutive years, has set a new benchmark in tree plantation. By October 2023, over 1.15 million trees have been planted in the reclaimed area of PEKB mine, with a success rate of over 90%. This is the largest plantation drive in India's mining industry to date. Additionally, under the guidance of the Forest Department, more than 210,000 trees were planted in the 2023-24 campaign.

In comparison to the past ten years, this new record includes significant regeneration of Sal trees, which is a challenging process. Over 1,100 acres of land have been transformed into a dense and mixed forest by planting Sal and other trees. Furthermore, a special transplanting machine imported from Germany has been used to relocate about 10,000 trees with a girth of less than 60 inches from the forest, including the replanting of more than 7,000 Sal trees.

This year, Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam plans to plant over 200,000 diverse tree species to maintain its enthusiastic performance.

**Changing the Belief that Sal Trees Cannot Be Replanted**

After regular studies on the origin and regeneration of Sal tree seeds with professors from major universities' horticulture departments, it was found that the regeneration of Sal tree seeds begins in May-June. With the onset of rain, these seeds fall to the ground and start regenerating in moist soil. The company, in collaboration with local people, began collecting these seeds from the forest and treating them in their nursery to produce saplings. The hard work paid off as these seeds began to sprout into plants.

A total of 43 species, including Sal, Khair, Bija, Harra, Bahera, Banyan, Teak, and Mahua, as well as fruit-bearing trees like Mango, Guava, Jackfruit, and Papaya, have been cultivated. These saplings are grown in the nursery and nurtured through drip irrigation, transforming the area into a fully developed forest.

As a result, the biodiversity of the region has started to return. Various bird species have begun nesting, and recently, wild animals such as bears and monkeys have been spotted in the forest.

Now, the public is also being invited to visit this newly created forest.

 


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