Tamil Nadu is currently suffering a horrible drought despite having 17 rivers, 18,789 big lakes, 20,413 ponds and 99 small rivers. The drought has been said to be predominantly man-made, with the groundwater slowly disappearing.
At a time like this, students from Lawrence school in Ooty are trying their best to restore grasslands. Using a species of perennial plants called Tussock grass, they’ve set out to improve the groundwater table.
With consent from the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, the school has planned to restore its 700-acre forest area.
The students have already removed shrubs from five acres of land and replaced it with Tussock grass, which can hold a lot of water and recharge the groundwater table, reports NDTV. To do that, they’ll have to uproot some of the Eucalyptus trees that consume a lot of water.
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The 700-acre forest area will be turned into ‘shola’ grasslands, which is a mosaic of mountain evergreen forests and grasslands, found in the higher mountain regions of South India. For doing so, 5,000 exotic trees will have to be uprooted.
The students along with the alumni expressed a lot of excitement over the project. The person who handpicked this variety was Godwin Vasanth Bosco, an ecologist who guides the school. “The springs will be recharged as opposed to water running off,” he told NDTV. “If everything goes well, we will not have to see water scarcity ever in the Nilgiris,” added the school’s head, Sangita Chima.