Prosopis juliflora (Vilayati babul or kikar )
Prosopis juliflora (vilayati babul or kikar)
Scientists point at a thorny exotic weed, prosopis juliflora , locally known as
vilayati babul or kikar , responsible for pushing ground water table down and drying up surface soil killing vegetation in In India including
Rajasthan's green lands. The lush Aravali green has yielded place to this weed, which is
responsible for fast desertification of the Aravali regions, including Rajasthan.
According to a report of Rajasthan Forest Department planted there are a number of grass ‘birs’ in Pali and Jalore district.
These ‘birs’ have been invaded extensively by Prosopis Juliflora. To improve the status of these grass ‘
birs’ it is essential to eradicate Prosopis juliflora from these areas. As such Prosopis Jjuliflora is being
up rooted out from these areas. Department is expecting revenue of about Rs. 1.00 crore by way and sale of trees. Prosopis Juliflora plantations exist in ravine
areas of Chambal in Kota and Bundi districts. These are also proposed to be harvested.
In India the weed was enthusiastically planted in many states just because it
takes roots fast and spreads faster, was even branded as a poor man's tree for its hardy trunk, used as fire-wood and building thatched houses. The
damaging sides dawned on the scientific community only recently.
On a recent PIL by a few citizens of Delhi and a local NGO
challenging the CEMDE decision to fell the weed at the park in the Supreme Court. The court
asked the DDA to file an affidavit explaining why the weed needed to be felled
at the 630-acre Aravali Biodiversioty Park. Pro vice chancellor CR Babu, who heads the CEMDE team of scientists, said
we have made all concerned aware of our findings, explained with documental proofs
why we consider the plant needs to be felled immediately throughout the Aravalli
range, to grow the native plants and proper vegetation.The weed has tremendous natural growth potentials. Its stem is very strong goes down even beyond 15
meters to suck underground water from the aquifers. It also dries up the moisture of the surface soil, which is why native plants cannot grow. This
creates desert-like situations. Wherever its fruits will travel, the weed will take roots. That's ways how it has spread throughout the NCT regions and some states,
though it had initially planted it at a limited space. Even its pollens are
known to cause asthma.The weed, vilayati babul or kikar , can be found in entire Rajasthan, where
plantation and agriculture are not possible. Similar reports are available from
Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
A recent report by Nairobi based English daily The Nation
said Kenyans are up in arms against the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UNO for
introducing the exotic prosopis juliflora, but not owning the responsibility for
damages it has caused. Kenyan National Environment management Authority is all
set to move the World Court against the FAO. Similar reactions have also been heard from the Ethiopia, where the weed has
been branded as a Devil Tree, casing deserts and famine like situations.
The Israel babul (akesia tortlis) planted in Rajasthan to check the expansion of desert produces same disaster effect
like vilayti babul (Prospies juliflora). It is found most harmful for the growth of local plants and grass. Animals does not eat the
grass found under these tree. This tree contain more acidic ph value and due to this the soil becomes unfit for agriculture use. The abundance
growth of this tree is responsible for pushing ground water table down and
drying up surface soil killing vegetation in Rajasthan. The better substitutes are the trees like Kejari, Neem, Rohira,
Sisam trees who are most suitable for Rajsthan's climate, soil and eco-system.