Rhododendrons to save environment

The Statesman

DARJEELING, 21 JUNE: As many varieties of rhododendron has been planted at the unused area above the factory of Happy Valley tea estate, within an area of two hectares of land, considerably devoid of true forest.

Such an initiative for the protection of the environment by the Darjeeling forest division, involving the local populace planting tree saplings,

was organised under the forest management objectives that was recently carried out

to observe the environment week in many other regions within the Darjeeling district, mainly focused in areas where forests have degraded, said an official.

Today’s effort was jointly organised in collaboration with the team Aarohee by involving locals and school students planting about 315 different saplings of rhododendron.

The Aarohee team has been handed over the responsibility of nurturing the species which is indigenous to the area.

It has been planted at the backyard of the factory that has been named ‘Smriti Van’ since yesterday.

The name that actually bears the meaning the ‘forest in memory’ has been dedicated to the Gorkha Martyrs, writers and scholars who devoted their lives for the nation.

“Later, we will dedicate each of the trees to the Gorkha martyrs, writers, scholars. We will have a tablet containing the bio-data of these martyrs. This would be an added attraction to the happy valley tea plantation which is one of the oldest tea gardens of Darjeeling and a famous tourist spot,” said Mr Madan Kumar Subba, president of Aarohee ~ a team of independent people from Darjeeling.

One of the major reasons behind planting the tree saplings is to prevent landslide control as the nearby lands of the plantation are prone to landslides, with already two different landslides having taken place alternatively.

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