But it was bombing of a different kind -- of seeds -- and the aim was to increase the forest cover.
The 'seed bombs' were dropped on two hills near the Daulatabad fort, a popular tourist place in Aurangabad, a forest official said here today.
A 'seed bomb' is a cluster of seeds, peat-free compost and clay and it gives initial nutrition to the seed for germination, Aurangabad's deputy conservator of forests S P Wadaskar explained.
The targeted hills have sharp slopes and humans generally cannot go there to plant saplings, Wadaskar told PTI.
"We had collected four lakh seeds and prepared one lakh 'seed bombs'. The idea was to increase the germination rate per bomb," said another forest official.
Officials of the revenue and forest departments flew in the helicopter to disperse the seeds as part of a mass plantation drive.
"The mass-level tree plantation is going on for the last some years. We have planted saplings first in the plains on hillocks. This year, we decided to go for areas where people cannot easily go and plant the saplings. Hence we decided to use a helicopter for the dropping the seed bombs," Wadaskar said.
The seed quality and recommendations were made by the forest department, the official added.
Prior to this, such a step was taken in 1986 when a helicopter was used for seed bombing in Tadoba reserve forest for the plantation of bamboo plants, Wadaskar said.
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