East Midnapore District Administration has decided to prevent soil erosion along the banks of rivers and sea by planting vetiver grass along the embankment.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had named cultivation of Vetiver grass project as Sabujayan.
Nadia was the first district to prepare a plan to plant Vetiver along the river banks covering 726 km. It has been planned to plant vetiver covering 500 km. Nurseries have been set up in Nadia where vetiver grass is grown.
International experts on vetiver visited the nurseries and expressed their satisfaction over the growth of the grass there.
They have expressed satisfaction over the progress of plantation.
Recently, training on Vetiver Nursery Raising and Restoration works in riversides and sea beaches was held at Contai, Purba Medinipur.
Ten Self Help Groups have been trained for raising nurseries as well as restoration techniques along riverside.
Technical Expert, Babulal Mahato who has been associated with implementation of vetiver project in Nadia from inception after announcement of the project Sabujayan, delivered a presentation to the SHG members.
Additional District Magistrate, Purba Medinipur Krishnendu Basak said: "We have planned to protect our vulnerable river embankments as well as sea
beaches through vetiver system and SHG members have been selected for nursery raising as well as restoration works."
Rivers like Rupnarayan, Haldi and many rivulets pass through Purba Medinipur. Large parts are vulnerable to flood-like situation during the monsoon time.
The district administration expects to mitigate the menace through newly introduced eco-friendly green technology in the state.
Dibyendu Sarkar, Commissioner, MGNREGA, West Bengal is optimistic for successful implementation of the vetiver schemes in Purba Medinipur and expects good results in river embankment protection as well sea beach protection.
He said: "Purba Medinipur is first to use vetiver for sea beach protection as well as beautification through vetiver hedges."Pranab Kumar Ghosh,
District Nodal Officer said: "We will complete nursery raising by March and will be able to start restoration works by April."
Vetiver grass will be planted along Rupnarayan, Subarnarekha, Haldi, Kanshabati and Chandi rivers covering 265 km and sea shore covering 16 km.
The biggest achievement of Panchayat and Rural Development department is the vetiver grass cultivation to prevent soil erosion.
There are six rivers flowing through Nadia district. They are Churni, Mathabhanga, Padma, Bhagirathi, Jalangi and Ichamati. Vetiver grass is planted along the river bank covering a distance of 734 km. Of the total area, plantation work is completed along 120km. Senior state government officials said by March 31, plantation along 500 km will be completed.
Soil erosion in Nadia has been a major problem. After coming to power in 2011, Mamata Banerjee asked the officials of Panchayat and Rural development department to find out measures to prevent soil erosion.
A pilot project was taken up. Vetiver grass was brought from Tamil Nadu. Over the years, 76 nurseries have come up in the district where the grass is grown.
Vetiver experts from both the country and abroad have visited the nurseries and appreciated the work taken up by the state government.
They had interacted with the officials and the growers and gave necessary suggestions to improve the cultivation.