The Kerala Forest Department has decided to place 100 cement pots with flowering and medicinal plants like Thetti (Ixora), Magnolia Champaca, Belly Bamboo (Bambusa ventricosa) and Elanji (Mimusops elengi Linn) along the stretch of road from Sasthamangalam Junction to LMS Junction in Thiruvananthapuram.
“The government had sanctioned Rs 2.75 lakh for the Sasthamangalam beautification project two weeks ago. The plants are being potted right now, they will be placed along -not on-the footpath on Tuesday evening,” said a source from the forest department.
“We’ve given permission to place the pots only on the 1.26 Km Sasthamangalam – Vellayambalam stretch. I am not going into the merits of the suggestion made by the forest department to introduce flowering plants along the roadside. The Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Limited (TRDCL) had introduced Mandaram (Bauhinia Blakeana) which is a flowering tree, but certain sections of the society wanted more greenery. There is no point in placing the pots on the Kowdiar stretch as the plants need adequate sunlight to grow and there is a canopy of trees which prevent that,” said Anil Kumar Pandala, vice president of the Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Limited.
The maintenance charges of a pot will be around Rs 500, per month and will be borne by the forest department. The forest department will pay the Kerala Road Fund Board, and they in turn will pay the TRDCL, implementing agency of the City Road Improvement Project.
“When we agreed to the forest department’s request, the condition was that we will undertake the maintenance of the plants. They must be watered every day in the summer months and manure is to be applied once in three months,” Pandala said.
“Actor Suresh Gopi is also contributing to the city’s green cover by donating two 10-year-old Elenji (Mimusops elengi Linn) trees which will be transplanted near the Sasthamangalam Junction and near Kowdiar. This is the first time that a mature tree will be transplanted in Thiruvananthapuram. A scientist from the Kerala Forest Research Institute in Thrissur will monitor the process. The actor who resides at Sasthamangalam was dead against the felling of trees in that area for the road development project,” said a source from the forest department.
News Sourced from “Metro Vaartha” & “Times of India“