What is the issue ?
- Odisha government has decided to go back to the traditional practice of planting palm trees to curb the number of deaths due to lightning.
How big an issue is this ?
- Approximately 500 lives every year are lost due to lightning in the state of Odisha.
Why palm trees ?
- Palm trees, being the tallest ones, act as a good conductor when lightning strikes.
- The tree also has a wide range of uses, its fruits are eaten, the stem is valuable as wood, and baskets and mats are woven with the leaves.
- Palm trees also protect coastal areas from storms and cyclones, while its roots protect embankments from soil erosion.