TTD EYES ON “GREEN CARPET WELCOME”
Tirumala, 6 October 2016: Being the custodian of world famous temple of Lord Venkateswara, the temple management of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams also aims to protect the environs of hill town by developing green across the hills.
With this “Green Mission” TTD has embarked on a massive forestation campaign to enhance the green coverage of the Forest belt under its care which is spread on 2750 kms and three kms radius.
PLANT REJUVENATION PROGRAMME:
According to Sri Shivram Prasad, Deputy conservator of forests of TTD, the agenda is to renew the plant life in the Tirumala township spread over 700-800 acres and to off set the negative impact caused by the rocky plateau of Tirumala, concrete jungle and heavy use of powerful lighting leading to degradation of plant life in Tirumala.
“At least 5-10 plants (mostly exotic and short life plants )are dying in Tirumala and the goal is to replace them and also rejuvenate the plant life. “Tirumala tops in the world for reviving huge foot falls around smallest area ( average of 82,000 per day over 1.2 sq. km) and unless enough lung space is created, could choke the environment in near future”, he said.
RELIGIOUS TREES TO BE GROWN
With the strategic thrust given by EO Dr D Sambashiv Rao, TTD has launched a systematic campaign and program to enhance green cover in Tirumala with long lifed plants viz. Peepal, Banyan and various other varieties were planted. ”We planted 1200 including 210 peepal trees. It is said that Banyan tree has religious importance as abode of Lord Vishnu and we plan to put up 5000 of them during this year”, he added.
He said plants were also afoot to beautify other median of Tirumala with ornamental, seasonal flower plants and also medicinal plants.”TTD has already launched a program of planting 20,000 such varieties at Shanku metta. On the ghat roads and foot paths the TTD has embarked on a campaign to ground 10,000 plants of creeper (Ficus), aromatic (parijata,jasmine etc) and medicinal varieties which would have soothing impact on trekkers”, he asserted.
In the general forestry TTD wants to promote 2.25 lakh plants of all varieties. We have planted Red sanders(gap planting) in 300 acres), sandal wood in 100 acres (50,000 saplings). We have also done 100 kg of sandal wood seeds dribbling all around the forests.
Shivaram Prasad said the TTD forest department has also taken up replacement of Acacia variety of plants(exotic and short life plants), popularly diagnosed as the main cause of forest fires .”We have removed Acacia in 150 hectares and plan to eliminate them in 350 acres left out by year end”, he said.
VRUKSHA PRASADAM TO DEVOTEES
In a venture to involve devotees as part of the devotional afforestation the TTD has launched Vruksha Prasadam campaign by allowing the devotees to chose the plants of their zodiac or Star value which were grown in the specially got up Zodiac and Star plant gardens at Alipiri next to SVBC studios. We have also put up a medicinal plants garden at GNC. ‘We allow the devotees to visit the gardens and also chose their plant for a token sum of Rs.5.’The objective is to spread awareness of Green revolution as the only route to healthy and aesthetic life style’, he maintained.
TEN LAKH REDSANDERS SAPPLINGS DISTRIBUTED
With 13 Forest officers, and 200 other watch and ward and 13 watch towers, the TTD forest department has been involved in major forestation campaign by the state government to raise seedlings and saplings for the Green campaign across the state. “In 2016 we have distributed 10 lakh red sanders seedlings to farmers and other government agencies in Nellore, Kadapa and Chittoor districts”, the officer said.
“It is our endeavor to fulfill that goal and save biodiversity of the region with our Green Mission and provide an aesthetic feel to devotees”, he added.
GREEN PLANS IN TIRUPATI ALSO
TTD plans to take over beautification of the Avialala Tank in Tirupati by introducing 400 species of medicinal plant.
ISSUED BY PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, TTDs,TIRUPATI