Vocal for local: NSG takes on invasive vilayati kikar, to regreen 5-km stretch of Manesar campus with local trees

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Source: The post is based on the article “Vocal for local: NSG takes on invasive vilayati kikar, to regreen 5-km stretch of Manesar campus with local trees” published in“Indian Express” on 10th October 2023

What is the News?

National Security Guard (NSG) has decided to take on the vilayati kikar (Prosopis juliflora) populating its Aravali hills campus after it was found to be responsible for the depleting water table.

What is Vilayati kikar (Prosopis juliflora)?

Source: Indian Express

Vilayati kikar (Prosopis juliflora) is a thorny shrub or tree growing up to 15 m height.

It is an invasive Mexican tree species.It was introduced by the British in Delhi in the 1930s. 

Harmful Impact: The roots of the tree can grow over 50 meters deep, depleting groundwater.

– The trees also make it difficult for native species to germinate around them.

Court on Prosopis juliflora: The Madras High Court in 2016, passed an interim order clearing removal of Prosopis juliflora as they were depleting the water table in areas already struggling for water. 

Why is the National Security Guard (NSG) taking action against vilayati kikar (Prosopis juliflora)?

The National Security Guard (NSG) was given 1,600 acres of land along the Delhi-Ajmer highway in Manesar to construct its campus. 

Initially, there were 98 functional borewells on this land.However, presently, 63 of these borewells have dried up. 

The NSG has identified vilayati kikar (Prosopis juliflora), a non-native plant species, as one of the factors contributing to the declining water table.

To address the issue of depleting water resources and to promote local biodiversity, the NSG has initiated a project. 

This project covers an area of 1,000 acres on the campus, spanning a 5-km stretch.The primary goal of the project is to restore the Aravalli hills with indigenous plant species.

Importantly, the NSG is removing the vilayati kikar trees before planting new native saplings. This action is necessary because vilayati kikar is an invasive species that inhibits the growth of other plants in its vicinity.

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