TN Govt to launch 5 environment projects at a cost of Rs 87 cr

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Chennai, May 13 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu Government today announced it would take up five fresh envirionment projects including raising teak and coastal area plantations on private lands, conservation of medicinal plants, eco-tourism and water resource management at a total cost of Rs 86.62 crore during the current fiscal.

Replying to the demand for grants to Environment and Forest Department, State Forest Minister N Selvaraj said the government has proposed to raise teak plantaions on Padungai Lands at a cost of Rs 53.41 crore for a period of five years by raising teak plantations over an extent of 20,700 hectare.

''To improve the social and economic condition of the coastal residents, afforestation activities are proposed to be taken up in the coastal areas over an extent of 1,000 hectare at a cost of Rs 4.15 crore,'' he added.

On the conservation and collection of medicinal plants resources in Tamil Nadu, Mr Selvaraj said owing to increased demand for medicinal plant products in recent years, some of the species were facing permanent loss.

In order to conserve and augment medicinal plant resources in the state, proposals were submitted to the National Medicinal Plant Board which sanctioned Rs 3.21 crore for raising important species in select locations, facilitating value addition, including processing and storage and strengthening seed sources and knowledge base through improved inventory and database management.

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