Kerala freezes decision to plant eucalyptus seedlings on forest land after protests

Thiruvananthapuram, May 20 (IANS): Kerala Forest Minister A.K. Saseendran has directed his department's order for planting eucalyptus seedlings to be frozen and asked for a report on the matter.

This scheme was first opposed by environmental activists and soon the opposition Congress also took it up.

Veteran Congress legislator and former Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala slammed the decision to plant eucalyptus seedlings on the forest land owned by the Kerala Forest Development Corporation, terming it "strange".

"This is against all the laws of the state and centre as this species of tree has been found to have a negative impact on the water table besides it’s an invasive species and can destroy precious forest trees. If this happens, it could mean an increase in man-animal conflicts as wild animals will start entering human settlement areas," he said.

Chennithala also termed it strange that funds were received by the Kerala Forest Department from the UN for clearing out eucalyptus and acacia trees planted before and then came the directive to plant the very same species.


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Title: Kerala freezes decision to plant eucalyptus seedlings on forest land after protests

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