RIL grows teak and mango trees in its complex
Jamnagar, Apr 2: Enthused by the success of growing dwarf exotic varieties of mangoes in the semi-arid regions of Gujarat, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has taken up another challenge of growing teak under dry conditions in the 'Green Belt' around its refinery complex.
Both mangoes and teak are known to grow only in moderate rainfall of 1000-2000 mm (40-80 inches) in deciduous forests. The 7,500-acre RIL complex situated in Jamnagar, receives less than 300 mm (12 inches) of rainfall.
Horticulturists had planted saplings in the Green Belt around the same time when the foundation stone was first laid for churning out 33 million tonnes per annum of the crop refinery less than a decade ago.
Over 37 lakh trees have been planted in the Green Belt spread over 1,800 acres, including 34 varieties of fruits such as 37 varieties of 1.02 lakh mangoes trees on 421 acres and 2.02 lakh teak saplings on 198 acres.
Journalists were taken around the Green Belt by RIL officials yesterday and shown how drip irrigation provides water to the plants.
The purpose of Green Belt is not just to fulfill the environmental obligations of planting tress on 5-metre wide margin land on either side of 22.7 km of National Highway passing through RIL complex and 50-metre margin land on either side of 65 km of internal roads, but to live up to the RIL motto of Ñ'Make Impossible Things PossibleÒ', the officials said.
As against 35 years required for teak trees to grow their full height, RIL is striving to do it in 20 years through grafting and experiments.
What is unique about this project is that RIL has ventured into growing these trees in adverse hot and dry subtropical marine areas with scanty annual average rainfall, with strong dry winds evaporating surface water. The soil too is substantially salinity, shallow with high PH and with no perennial irrigation source, RIL sources pointed out.