Amalapuram: Government releases funds for cure of dying coconut trees

Amalapuram: Government releases funds for cure of dying coconut trees
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Joint Technical Committee visiting Nellivaripeta, Billakurru village of Kothapeta mandal in Amalapuram Revenue division and inspecting the coconut palms (File photo)

Highlights

The State government has released Rs 1.5 lakh to the Horticulture Research Station for the purpose of investigation on unusual death of coconut palms and Rs 13,86,200 to the treatment for 6,931 coconut palms in Konaseema region of East Godavari district.

Amalapuram: The State government has released Rs 1.5 lakh to the Horticulture Research Station for the purpose of investigation on unusual death of coconut palms and Rs 13,86,200 to the treatment for 6,931 coconut palms in Konaseema region of East Godavari district.

Owing to the Black Scorch disease, nearly 880 coconut trees perished in Nellivaripeta and Billakuduru village of Kothapeta mandal in the district.

'The Hans India' highlighted the issue on September 2, 2021 and funds crunch for the treatment. Responding to the report, the government had issued proceedings to the Commissioner of Horticulture Dr S Sridhar and released the amount.

Unusual death of coconut palms have been happening from January 2021. It started with 10 palms in two farmers' coconut plantations and expanded to 20.03 acres belonging to 25 farmers' fields.

About 1,100 palms died of pest so far and still death of coconut palms is progressing.

According to Horticulture officials, the experts of the Joint Technical Committee which visited the Konaseema area remarked that the coconut trees perished due to the Oil and atural Gas Corporation (ONGC) operations. Recently, the experts of the Joint Technical Committee led by Horticulture department Deputy Director Dr S Ram Mohan inspected the coconut plants along with Kothapeta MLA and Govt Whip Chirla Jaggireddy in Nellivaripeta and Billakurru village of Kothapeta mandal in Amalapuram Revenue division.

The committee stated that the coconut trees were dying due to ONGC drilling and consequently the ground water is being spoiled and polluted which is the cause for perishing of the coconut palms in Konaseema region.

Prof Krishna Prasad said that there is a chance for spread of malady to adjacent areas and recommended crown drenching of palms with Tebuconazole 0.2% (5 lit per palm). He asked the Groundwater department and ONGC officials to study the gradient of ground water flow by taking ONGC rig as focal point.

MLA and Whip Jaggi Reddy had instructed the ONGC officials to stop the natural gas production until the issue is cleared.

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