Bangalore, March 21:
Karnataka on Monday banned plantation of Eucalyptus and Acasia on forest land in a bid to discourage monoculture forests due to the ecological damages these species cause, the State Government said today.
The Government has issued a circular that eucalyptus and acasia plantations cannot be taken up on forest lands as they cause water table depletion and erode soil fertility, Mr C.H. Vijayashankar, Karnataka Minister for Forest, told reporters. The Government would soon identify the species of plants that would be encouraged for plantation by farmers under the subsidy scheme, he said. The Government has also banned use of lands owned by Forest Development Corporation for growing pulp and eucalyptus for industrial use, he added. Following the ban, the Forest Department, which had a practice of raising eucalyptus and acasia as separate plantations, will have to abandon it.The Government had on February 4 banned eucalyptus cultivation in Malnad and semi-Malnad areas. The Government has already set out guidelines for raising eucalyptus plantation in dry zones.
(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 22, 2011)