Meghalayans plant 1.5 million saplings across the state
Hundreds of people in Meghalaya planted 1.5 million saplings in 306 springsheds across all the 11 districts of the state on Wednesday to mark the World Environment Day.
In all, 460 villages across the 46 community and rural development blocks planted 1,000 saplings each. Besides this, a million saplings were planted in 306 spring sheds and catchment areas across the state, which is a record of sorts considering that such a mass campaign has never been attempted in the past.
“Congratulations to all officials and team members who made it possible to plant 1.5 million trees in one day #OneCitizenOneTree…This is a beginning and we should continue to plant trees,” chief minister Conrad Sangma, who initiated the ‘Meghalaya One Citizen One Tree’ campaign to commemorate World Environment Day 2019, tweeted.
Besides Sangma, who planted a sapling at picturesque Langkyrdem village in the suburbs of state capital Shillong, cabinet ministers, government officials, citizens and students participated in the mass campaign with equal zeal as it rained on the day.
The planting was overseen by the state’s soil and water conservation department in collaboration with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development’s (NABARD) regional office in Shillong.
The project on springshed development, funded under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) as part of the initiative to protect vulnerable springs and rejuvenate their catchments or recharge areas, cost the exchequer ₹4.11 crore.
The project under the afforestation measures of the programme, which is in sync with this year’s World Environment Day theme on air pollution, envisages addressing the challenges and threat to the springs of the state which are the source of water and to ensure sustained yield and availability, especially during the lean dry months.
Waterways in Meghalaya are rain fed and the source of all the water in the streams and rivers comes from the feeder springs.
“This initiative of planting a million trees will help in ensuring the catchment of these springs are revived and the water discharge from such springs will improve over the years,” the department said in a statement.