Assembly polls to promote afforestation in Kerala 

Sunday, Apr 24, 2016,14:20 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Will the May 16 assembly polls help reduce deforestation worries and increase green cover in Kerala? As several places in the southern state are reeling under the severe summer heat, district authorities are using innovative methods during the polls to drive home the need for increasing green cover in the state.

The district administrations in high range Wayanad and Pathanamthitta are getting ready to distribute tree saplings to voters and candidates and launching awareness programmes for the green cause.

Wayanad collector Kesavendrakumar said they were planning to distribute at least one million tree saplings among voters on the polling day on May 16 through polling stations under the programme titled ‘Orma Maram’.  Traditional tree varieties, especially fruit-bearing and flowering trees and bamboos, were selected to be distributed among voters, he said.

All first-time voters, senior citizens and physically challenged, who arrive at the polling stations to exercise their franchise, will get tree saplings, he said. We have identified 47 areas which register low voting percentage in the previous election.

To increase the turn out this time, we are planning to distribute tree saplings to every voters, who cast votes there, he said. They can either take the saplings to home and plant at own gardens or plant it at public places, river banks or road sides.

The saplings, planted at public places, would be monitored by a specially-formed group of volunteers. he said. Wayanad has been classified as one of the climate change hot spots in a recent study. The programme is expected to create an awareness among people about the need for environment conservation besides the significance to exercise their franchise, the official said.

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