5.5 crore saplings to be planted across Maharashtra during Van Mahotsav
Mumbai city news: After the registration data was frozen by the forest department on Monday, the total number of saplings to be planted during Van Mahotsav stands at 5.54 crore – 3.4 crore in forest areas and over 2 crore in non-forest areasmumbai Updated: Jun 28, 2017 10:41 IST
The plantation drive in the state by the forest department has received an overwhelming response this year. An additional 1.5 crore saplings have been added to the 4 crore saplings to be planted.
By July 7, 24.62 lakh hectares area in the state will be covered with fresh plantations.
After the registration data was frozen by the forest department on Monday, the total number of saplings to be planted during Van Mahotsav stands at 5.54 crore – 3.4 crore in forest areas and over 2 crore in non-forest areas.
A total of 185 plant species have been listed for the entire plantation drive.
Van Mahotsav or Forest Day is an annual tree-planting festival, observed from July 1 to 7 across India. Started in 1950 by the Ministry of Agriculture, millions of saplings are planted during the week to increase green cover.
Forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told HT that the encouraging response from citizens for a green Maharashtra has paved way for more plantations in the coming years.
“Citizens have recognised the endeavour to increase the green cover in the state and made it their mission. Rather than making it a drive spearheaded by the state, it has become a people’s movement,” he said. “This gives us the impetus to increase the number of plantations to 13 crore for next year and 33 crore plantations in 2019.”
The maximum plantations in the state will be done at Chandrapur with 48.64 lakh saplings, followed by Nashik with 47.16 lakh and Ahmednagar with 30.35 lakh saplings. Owing to shortage of space, the least number of saplings will be planted in Mumbai suburban and city areas with 24,399 and 4,730 saplings respectively.
Out of 307 lakh hectares of total area in the state, around 20 per cent (61.35 lakh hectares) is covered by forests. According to the National Forest Act, 1988, 33 per cent area should have green cover. The forest department has set a target to develop 33% of the total land area under social forestry programme prescribed by central forest department, which is expected to be done by 2019. This means planting 400 crore trees by then.
“Last year, the forest department planted 2.83 crore saplings across the state that had a survival rate of 75%,” said forest officials.
Forest officials added that this year, the registration process was planned and executed better than last year. “Unlike last year, the entire database of the plantations will be available in the public domain,” said P Srivastava, additional principal chief conservator of forest, Information and Technology division.
Some of the species that will be planted this year are gulmohar, jamun, neem, peepal, bamboo, bel, custard apple, teak, cashew among others.
How the plantation will help the forest department?
In an attempt to reduce carbon emissions by increasing the green cover in developing countries, the United Nations introduced its collaborative programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REBB+) in 2008.
According to the REBB+ convention, if any agency is able to prove additional green cover, created through investing a large amount of money, the agency will be reimbursed by developed nations. “With 2.81 crore plantations in 2016, 5.5 crore plantations planned in 2017 and 50 crore target by 2019, five years from now we will have a strong case to claim reimbursement,” said P Srivastava, additional principal chief conservator of forest, Information and Technology division.
Van Mahotsav in numbers
5,54,08,930 saplings will be planted across 36 districts in Maharashtra
5,27,56,351 pits have been dug up for the plantations already
24,62,806 hectare area will be covered across the state will plantations
94,256 sites across the state have been registered from plantations this year
Locations where maximum plantations will be done this July
|District||No. of sites where plantations will be done||Total no. of saplings||Total no. of pits dug|
(Source: State Forest Department)