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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

BSF aims to 'plant' its way to record books

Sujit Chakraborty, IANS  Agartala, August 17, 2014
First Published: 13:48 IST(17/8/2014) | Last Updated: 14:00 IST(17/8/2014)

The paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) aims to enter the "Limca Book of Records" by planting 180,000 trees along India's frontiers Tuesday, an official said.

"Over 10,500 BSF troopers would plant 180,000 trees in 30 minutes (10am to 10.30am) August 19 all along India's borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh," BSF deputy inspector general Bhaskar Rawat told IANS.

"By concluding this gigantic task in record time, we are trying to enter the Limca Book of Records," he added.

India has 15,106 km of land border, including that with China.

BSF troopers are deployed along the 4,096 km India-Bangladesh and 3,323 km India-Pakistan frontiers.

"At least 50 saplings would be planted in each BOP (Border Out Post), at least 100 in each BSF medium range campus and 500 saplings in frontier and sector headquarters," Rawat said.

He said that considering the environmental affect due to climate change and other ecological degradation, this mission was undertaken at the instance of BSF chief Devendra Kumar Pathak, an IPS officer of the 1979 batch of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre.

"Instead of sweets, Indian and Bangladeshi border guards would also exchange saplings to green the areas that they guard, and mark India's Independence Day celebrations," Rawat said.

Usually, BSF and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) exchange sweets on the national days of the two countries.

"BSF and BGB aim to make troopers and people on both sides aware of climate change and global warming," Rawat added.

Concerned with global warming and climate change, the BSF had launched a "My Earth, My Duty" plantation programme August 15, 2011.

"More than 10 million plantations have been planted along India's border with Bangladesh. But this time it would be done along the border with both Bangladesh and Pakistan," the officer said.

Saplings of various trees would be exchanged between the border guards of Bangladesh and Pakistan.

"The plantation programme would also bring together the border guards and people of different religions and customs from both sides of the border and is expected to further improve relations between them," Rawat said.

A BGB official told IANS at the India-Bangladesh check post at Akhaurah, near Agartala: "Such a joint initiative would bring the border guards of the two neighbours closer and would help in improving working relations between them."

The BSF official said that after creating the record on August 19, the green mission would continue till August 21 to cross 200,000.

"Besides providing security along the border areas of the country, BSF has taken initiative in safeguarding the environment along with the country's boundary and is determined to continue this task, plant trees and care for them whenever and wherever there is a chance.

"BSF has pledged to nullify the effect of the environmental hazards that nature is facing due to the felling of trees for the past many years," Rawat concluded.


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