With President Sirisena banning chainsaws and saw mills, the entire carpentry industry is at a standstill. While it is their mode of daily income, many people criticized President’s decision. In this backdrop, the founders of ‘Nokunu - Aloka Citizens’ Initiative’ is planning to plant a tree for every tree that is being cut.
“The cost of one plant is Rs.30 and why we chose Jak fruit trees is because various stages of this fruit are taken for consumption, be it kos, polos or waraka,” said a project member. “Once the tree is fully matured, it could be cut to make wardrobes and other furniture. Once a person is ready to cut a tree, he/she could obtain a licence and submit to the Grama Sevaka. In place of that tree, he could plant one or more trees. For example, a family of five could buy five plants for just Rs.150 and plant them along the perimeter of their house. This way, we do not have to ban chainsaws and close down saw mills.”
The project would commence from Nallathanniya (Dalhousie), the foot of Sri Pada on July 21 at 7.00 am, with the blessings of Saman Dewalaya, the project would take place simultaneously along the Maussakelle-Maskeliya-Dickoya Road ending at Hatton Railway station. In Hatton, the clergy representing the four main religions in the area would be invited to invoke blessings on the project along with the participation of people from all communities to forge ethnic harmony. From then onwards, every citizen should plant a tree for over one year, which they could do anywhere. It could be near one’s home, school or even in the workplace. Lending a hand to this project are the three armed forces, institutions involved in saving the environment and the corporate sector. The project includes planting of 4000 jak trees and 1000 mahogany trees on abandoned lands belonging to Maskeliya Plantations. The Plantations have come forward to provide labour to dig ground, fertilize and plant the 5000 saplings.
While the founders of the project have invited as many citizens to join this cause, it is also an opportunity for the public to help save the environment as they move towards achieving the 22- million tree target within a year.
The project would commence from Nallathanniya (Dalhousie), the foot of Sri Pada
on July 21 at 7.00 am