In view of rehabilitating & reclaiming the mined out land, The Ramco Cements Ltd has initiated an afforestation program at Pandalgudi to balance the ecology which was disturbed during mining of Limestone. Eco restoration has been planned for the entire mining area which covers around 800 acres, and is being implemented in a phased manner in areas where reserves are exhausted.
The total concept for rehabilitating the mined out area has been designed by Botanical services, Auroville along with in-house department. The overall aim is to create natural self-sustaining eco system that supports local bio diversity of flora and fauna, as well as establishing an environmental education centre and recreation area that caters to the needs of the school students and visitors.
Phase 1 covers 72 acres of afforestation programme at Eco park started in the Year 2019 by landscaping the mined out area and terracing the dump. This area will be the hub for the whole project, and it is here the environment center is located surrounded by ornamental gardens based on native species and drought tolerant plants. As on date we have planted 1,00,000 no's of saplings covering 250 nos. of species with 150 nos. of indigenous species like different types of ficus, neem, pupil tree, mahilam, pungam, babul tree, pulumeria, cactus, agave, aloe vera, medicinal plants, bushes & climbers and tropical dry evergreen species. The rockery garden has been created with the waste stones and boulders of the quarry.
Phase 2 covers 190 acres and was started in January 2021 and completed in 2022. The dump of 30 meters high on the Hangwall side has been terraced creating 18 km of walking and cycling trails, afforestation on dumps & Periphery, Miyawaki plantation, butterfly garden etc. have planted 1,50,000 no's of saplings, the majority of the area has been planted with native species adapted to low rain regime of the local area. The butterfly garden has been created for species of butterflies to visit the garden. It provides a recreational activity to view butterflies interacting with the environment.
Phase 3 covers an additional 100 acres and was started in December 2021 and will be completed by March 2023. As on date, we have covered an area of 350 acres out of the 800 acres project;and have planted around 2,50,000 saplings against the proposed 1 million saplings.
We have raised indigenous nursery in house for sustaining the green belt development, and have appointed well trained professional for this project.