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