South Western Railway takes the Green Track, translocates 46 Trees

MARGAO: In a novel initiative by the Indian Railways, the South Western Railway (SWR), which has jurisdiction over Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Goa, has adopted the method of translocation of trees, which in the normal course would require their axing to facilitate infrastructure projects of the railways.

In a first, the SWR has translocated 46 trees adjacent to the Devargudda railway station under the Chikkajajur-Hubballi section of the Mysuru Division—a two-line station that is being developed into a four-line crossing station.

“There were 46 trees of various varieties such as Nemalinare, Neem, Delbargia, Sisso, Pumgamia, Albizzia, lebbeck, etc, varying in size from 60cm to 290cm girth in the proposed alignment of new lines. In the normal course these trees are cut to facilitate construction works. However, keeping in view the vision of Indian Railways – to promote green environment and green energy while making the Indian Railways a global leader in sustainable mass transports – it was decided to transplant trees,” SWR’s chief public relations officer, E Vijaya, said, in a press release.

Green Morning Horticulture, which has been entrusted with the work, has ensured that the survival rate of the translocated trees would be 70-80%.

Alokkan Padmanabhan, executive engineer of the construction wing of South Western Railway, along with his team of engineers monitored the exercise. The work was undertaken under the supervision of horticulture experts who have transplanted many trees in the past at various places, the press release said.

Standard translocation procedure is being adopted for the purpose. “The process involves uprooting the trees with surrounding soil after duly protecting the roots, shifting to new location using crane, transplantation to required depth and further providing manure and fertilizers, pesticides etc. After completion of transplantation work, regular watering is to be done for six months and horticulture experts have to visit to see the growth of transplanted trees,” Vijaya said, adding that the SWR is planting trees alongside the tracks even up to Hubballi.”