Short of saplings for various drives, Gurugram to seek assistance from nearby districts
Against the stock of two lakh saplings available with the forest department, the district will require over five lakh saplings to implement various drives announced by the state government.Updated: Jul 21, 2019 02:44 IST
Given the momentum at which afforestation under Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA), a water conservation programme, is being promoted, Gurugram will likely have to seek assistance from nearby districts to fulfil its demand for saplings.
Against the stock of two lakh saplings available with the forest department, the district will require over five lakh saplings to implement various drives announced by the state government.
In a recent visit to the city, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, during the official launch of JSA, announced the distribution of two lakh saplings to residents’ welfare associations (RWA) and at least 500 saplings to more than 230 gram panchayats, which amounts to almost 1.5 lakh saplings. In addition to this, under Paudhagiri programme, which promotes plantation among students, the target is to distribute 1.4 lakh plants.
Together, it adds up to 4.9 lakh saplings, which is comparatively more than the stock available with the district forest department. “Currently, saplings are available. But in all likelihood, we might need more stock for which we have asked Jhajjar division to provide us 50,000 saplings,” said Subhash Yadav, divisional forest official.
According to him, each year, a set of seeds is planted for germination in January. “It is in July and August when the plant is two to three feet tall that we distribute them free of cost to people who visit our office and ask for it. Considering the requirement of the district, we keep a stock of two lakh plants,” said Yadav. Till now, the department has distributed 50,000 plants for free in the district.
The department also keeps a stock of six-foot-long plants for the requirement in colleges, institutions and notified forest areas.
Under JSA, water-stressed blocks in 255 districts across the country, including Haryana, have been identified to promote water conservation and harvesting through the renovation of traditional water bodies, borewell recharge structures, watershed development and intensive afforestation.
For the successful implementation of afforestation under JSA, less water-intensive plants are to be planted. “Trees are crucial for water conservation and retention in the soil. Less water-intensive and non-indigenous species are planted in residential areas and within the premises of the official complex,” said Yadav.
Also, the department, under JSA, has to evaluate plantation on parameters such as quality of sapling, rate of survival, water availability, protection mechanism adopted against grazing and browsing, the general condition of the plantation and community involvement in maintaining and protecting plantation. “The participation of communities in the protection and maintenance of planted trees is lacking,” said Yadav.
Besides JSA, there are other central government schemes such as the National Afforestation Programme, which encourages district-level forest development agencies to promote plantation, and Green Highways Policy 2015, to plant trees along the highways.
First Published: Jul 20, 2019 20:30 IST