Afforestation of Canal Banks or River Banks
With the stress on irrigation and power projects, in all the states, every state has very large and extensive canal systems. The canals are dug up and the excavated earth is heaped on one or both side, these banks or embankments are poor in their fertility. They need to be projected from erosion, which starts with rills and slowly gullies are formed and these thus create breaches in the canal. Tree growth protects the bank and also prevents evaporation of the water in the canal. Canal bank plantation also serves as shelter belts to many fields adjoining the canals. These belts or strips are also available for growing tree vegetation.
Species suitable for canal or river bank plantations are those which can yield fuel, pulpwood and timber. Bamboo and teak is raised in suitable well drained soils, will prove of high economic value. Bamboo can be harvested after every 3 to 4 years. The other species recommended are Eugenia
Jambolana, Dalbergia sissoo, Mangifera indica, Acacia arabica. Ailanthus excelsa, Terminalia arjuna, T belerica, Pongamia glabra, Muduca latifolia, Tamarindus indica, Azadirechta indica, Sesbania species, Eucalyptus species and Casuraina equisitifolia.
In soils with stony and gravel, Agave species can be successfully established. Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Hariyana have raised to considerable extent canal bank plantations.