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KPT planning big afforestation in its marshy waste land to turn Kandla greener

 Touted as a dirty major port for many years, Kandla was never before as GREEN and CLEAN as is now. As is widely believed in the port and shipping sector, the vital change came with appointment of chairman Ravi Parmer as its new CEO in last year. This could become possible as Parmar himself is a great believer in green and clean environment which he pursued with a vengeance since he first came as in charge chairman from Mumbai where he worked as a regular chairman. Two: the swachh Bharat vision or visionary PM Modi gave the port management new impetus to take cleaning and greening Kandla with vigour.

 Now it is understood that KPT is planning the biggest ever greening of its large marine areas in and around the port to keep marine environment green and clean. The vast area lies between the main port and the Kandla Special Economic Zone. The tentative programme is to green 40 hac or 100 acres of land for planting of 1 lakh plants.

 When contacted, though KPT chairman Parmar confirmed the project, he said it was still  in the primary stage and no concrete details could be given now. He said the port trust was in consultation with the forest and agricultural departments to work out the plan.

When this paper contacted key consultant who is a retired officer of the state forest department and has been associated with many impossible looking plantation programmes, he said that he was asked by the port trust management to draw a plan and submit it to them for consideration. His name H P Varia.      ‘’I went to the area between the port and Kandla SEZ for a detailed study and came to the conclusion that such plantation was possible initially in 40 hac.I also had personal meeting with chairman Rao who was positive and very enthusiastic about it.I told him that the 40 hac area which looked barren and was filled with tidal water today could surely be  turned into a green belt within five years if the project was taken scientifically and implemented seriously under constant supervision of expert.’

 Interestingly Varia, who is also engaged in free social services including providing free medicinal preparation for knee joint pain, was also equally enthusiastic. ‘If entrusted the Kandla project, based on my report, I will show the results’ he said. He went to Kandla in his own transport and submitted the report to the port trust without charging a paise as he said it would be a labour of love project for him.

 Varia said that the biggest problem here would be salty winds which needed to be contained by raising first wind belt. He said wind belt would  be naturally fenced by two species which are shrubs ,called susbanai and casurainia.He said these shrubs had very short life and the work was to provide natural  protection against salt winds. He said simultaneously more than 100 varieties of regular species which could include neem,biodiversity  and medicinal plants, would be grown He said in the first year sample plantation would for 1 lakh,and next year their number would 2.5 lakh.He said the five year project would cost more than Rs.2 crores.


 D V Maheshwari

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