Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Treated sewage will make Coimbatore more Greener

COIMBATORE: A novel research project is presently shaping up between the Forest College and Research Institute, a constituent college of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, and the city municipal corporation to develop an elaborate artificial forest using the treated sewage from the Ukkadam plant.

The three-year long project will be carried out by a team of researchers from the department of silviculture of the institute. The corporation is expected to pass a resolution in the council meeting this week enabling the institute to start its research in three acres of land near the sewage treatment plant.

"The most apt variety of trees would be selected and our team is planning to start the field research by October. The main objective is to use the treated sewage, which is presently pumped out without any specific purpose," said P Durairasu, dean, Forest College and Research Institute. The state government has earmarked Rs 9.5 lakh for the research.

The researchers are expected to record periodic changes in the soil, water quality and also the level of transpiration from the trees using a portable photosynthesis test.

"Apart from enhancing the green cover and recharging the ground water level with use of the treated sewage, the species that would be selected will also be a commercially viable one which could serve as a means of revenue to the civic body. We are not planning to grow trees that produce edible fruits at the moment since we will be using treated sewage water," said A Balasubramaniam, professor and head of the department of silviculture, Forest College and Research Institute.

Species like Malai Vembu, Kadambu and Arjuna trees could be grown initially, researchers claimed. After the initial round of research, the full grown trees could be utilized for commercial purposes and new saplings could be planted afresh.

The corporation resolution enabling the researchers to start using the land for the study would be tabled and passed at the council meeting scheduled to be convened this week.

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