UP govt sets 300-million sapling plantation target
The Uttar Pradesh government has set a target of planting 30 crore (300 million) saplings during the Van Mahotsav (afforestation festival) beginning in the first week of July this year.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath made the announcement on the occasion of World Environment Day on Saturday as he planted a sapling on the premises of his official residence in the morning.
“The Van Mahotsav programme will begin in the first week of July and we have set a target of planting 30 crore saplings…. In 2017, the state ran an extensive plantation drive statewide with a target of five crore saplings. Then in 2018 and 2019, the state planted 11 crore and 22 crore saplings. Last year, despite the Covid pandemic, the state could plant more than 25 crore saplings,” he said.
Last year, the state government had also tasked the forest department with running a campaign to conserve trees that are more than 100 years’ old and an extensive programme with the same objective will be carried out further, he added.
The chief minister also said: “Tree plantation should not just be a formal programme. Rather, the programme should lay emphasis on the plantation of traditional trees that are known to play an important role in protecting and conserving the environment. Peepal (sacred fig), bargad (banyan), Pakad (white fig), desi aam (indigenous mango), and other medicinal trees should be planted during the drive.”
Yogi asked the forest department, all government departments, institutions, village panchayats, nagar panchayats, and the public at large to join the movement.
Greeting the people on the occasion, he said: “We are safe till the environment is safe… We will have to strike a balance between nature and the environment, that’s our moral responsibility.”