Maha: 4 start nursery of saplings of indigenous tree varieties

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Aurangabad, Jun 25 (PTI) Four people from Aurangabad in Maharashtra have jointly set up a nursery of saplings of indigenous tree varieties that are slowly vanishing from across the state's Marathwada region and need to be preserved.

Zilla Parishad primary teacher Milind Girdhari, government employee Rohit Thakur as well as businessmen Prashnat Malode and Pravin Mogre came up with the idea a year ago while planting trees on Satara hills in south Aurangabad.

However, they said, realising the need for a steady supply of saplings of indigenous varieties of trees, a nursery was set up.

'We have saplings of species like mokha (Schrebera swietenioides), padal (stereospermum chelonoides), sonsawar (Cochlospermum religiosum), tiwas (Desmodium oojainsis), moi (Lannea coromandelica), kalakuda (Wrightia tinctoria) and many other plants, most of which are now rare in Marathwada,' Girdhari, a botany enthusiast, said on Friday.

'Since collecting seeds from the forest is not allowed, we reached out to people in different parts of the state to collect them from non-forest areas and the sides of roads. We collected seeds of Mokha from a farmer in Soyegaon, kaushi from Raigad, padal from Gondia, sonsawar from a road in Buldhana. These varieties are an important part of the food chain in this region,' Thakur said.

He said the district administration would be asked for a plot of land for these saplings, which will be distributed among people later to plant and nurture.

Kishor Pathak, honorary wildlife warden, said the forest department must help the four in this initiative, most importantly with land for the saplings to be planted. PTI AW BNM BNM BNM

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