Plantation push to Koraput
Koraput: As a part of its drive to make the district headquarters town greener and cleaner, the forest department has undertaken a massive plantation to convert the barren Pattadevi hill situated adjoining to the Shahid Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital in the town into a thriving lush green pasture.
Some 25,000 saplings of at least 36 varieties of plants - including decorative, fruit-bearing and medicinal - will be planted on an area of 18.218 hectares in the hill. Landscaping will also be done to make it attractive.
"The work for planting of saplings has begun and we expect to complete it before August 15. Once the planting is over, a trekking path of around four kilometres will be constructed on the hill," said Subash Khuntia, forest range officer of Koraput.
Around Rs 25 lakh will be spent on regenerating forest and beautifying the hill. The Odisha Mining Corporation is sponsoring the plantation as part of its corporate social responsibility.
As the hill is located amidst the town, the forest department has also planned to convert it into an amusement point for children and adults with construction of benches.
"Fencing of the plantation area has been done and landscaping work will start soon," said Khuntia.
Local people have welcomed the initiative.
"Plantation on the hill will not only beautify the town, but will also make it a place of tourist attraction. Watch towers should be constructed on the hill to attract more visitors," said town resident and social activist Ajit Patra.
The forest department has also undertaken plantation drives on 9.5 hectares on Chindri hill and 6.4 hectares on Dangodeulo hill on the outskirts of the town. There are also plans to plant decorative plants at the entry points of the town on NH-26 and NH-326.