Govt to plant 11 cr trees this year | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Govt to plant 11 cr trees this year

Concerned about the green cover, the state government has come up with an ambitious plan of sowing 100 crore trees in the next five years. About 11.3 crore plants will be sown this year alone.

mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2011 00:42 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

Did you know that there are only 3 crore trees in the forest areas in Maharashtra?

Concerned about the green cover, the state government has come up with an ambitious plan of sowing 100 crore trees in the next five years. About 11.3 crore plants will be sown this year alone.

In the state, the tree cover makes up for 3.08% of area, ie only 9,466 sqkm of the 3,07,713 sqkm of land has trees.

As per the India state of forests report 2009, the total tree cover makes up for only 16% of the forests cover of 60,116 sqkm.

The decision to conduct the plantation drive was taken at a meeting conducted by chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad on Thursday.

According to government sources, Gaikwad has decided to make changes in the way the drive would be conducted.

Apart from initiating plantation through joint forest management (JFMC) initiatives where tribals will be made equal partners, there will be a move to increase the wages of plantation workers who will be a part of the drive under the Maharashtra Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MREGS).

Around Rs380 crore that will be needed for the drive will be met through the state plan and non-plan budgets and schemes like MREGS, State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and even the 13th Finance Commission.

"This drive will be different since we are not merely planting trees, but also working on a sustainability plan where barren areas will be greened first," said Praveen Pardeshi, principal secretary, forests department.

"Also in case of JFMCs, we will give them access to minor produce such as honey which was not there before. Forest officers are being given sanctioning powers now."

"The state will be providing over Rs150 crore through its plan and non-plan budget while the rest will be managed through other schemes," Pardeshi added.