| The palm trees inside Jorhat Tennis Club. Telegraph picture |
Jorhat, Aug. 22: Blazing red gulmohars will soon shade Jorhat roads, with a trader single-handedly taking up the cudgels to add colour to the stretches of black asphalt.“Travelling through roads with trees on both sides is really a pleasure. And since we cannot depend on the government all the time, we have to do something on our own,” Partha Saikia told The Telegraph.
He said he completed plantation on the 15km Titabar-Mariani Road a few years ago and has now begun a drive on Jorhat-Titabar Road.
“I started plantation on Jorhat-Titabar Road early this year and have plans to plant about 1,000 saplings in the next few years,” he said.
Saikia has taken help from the forest department, which has been providing him the krishnasura saplings.
“It is easy to plant trees but the difficult part is to maintain them and protect them from cattle. The forest department lacks the manpower to look after these saplings,” he said.
Saikia does his bit, constructing fences around these saplings with bamboo, which is available in plenty at his ancestral home in Titabar.
“I also engage labourers to keep a watch on the new saplings and I frequently visit the place myself,” he said.
He also had plans to plant trees on the Jorhat stretch of the Assam Trunk Road but had to shelve the idea since the highway will be broadened soon.
Known among friends for his passion for planting trees, Saikia is also credited for the Jorhat Gymkhana Club’s green cover.
“He (Saikia) has been planting trees at the Jorhat Gymkhana Club ground for over a decade now. He plants at least 50 trees every year at the club ground and takes special care to raise these. He is also the man who planted the beautiful palm trees at Jorhat Tennis Club,” Hardeep Singh, a member of Jorhat Gymkhana Club, said.
Many claim that the greenery of the century-old Jorhat Gymkhana Club would have long gone had Saikia and a few members of the club not planted trees on the club grounds, which also houses the second oldest golf course in the world outside the British Isles.