GUWAHATI, May 14 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today formally launched an ambitious afforestation programme at Chakradoi, Rani, aimed at restoring and enhancing the green cover in the city�s hills and reserve forests.
Eighteen hills of the city and eight reserve forests are to be covered under the plantation drive initiated by the Kamrup (Metro) district administration and the Forest Department. A total of 20 lakh saplings are to be planted as part of the programme.
In his address, Gogoi stressed the need for awareness and action on the ground for increasing and maintaining the city�s green cover. He added that similar plantation drives should be carried out across the State.
�Deforestation and carbon emission-induced pollution is a global phenomenon today, which has emerged as an extremely disturbing environmental concern threatening to trigger climatic changes across the world. However, concerted action can check this trend, and one of the best ways to do so is to plant trees,� Gogoi said, adding that large-scale plantation also held the key to checking floods and erosion in a State like Assam.
The Chief Minister�s programme started about two hours behind schedule, causing a great deal of inconvenience for the schoolchildren who were made to wait in queues for welcoming him. Concerned local citizens said that it was something totally uncalled for and that the VIPs should learn punctuality and the value of time.
�We feel that little schoolchildren should not be made to suffer for placating VIPs and politicians. Such cultures should have no place in a democracy,� a citizen said.
Forest Minister Etuwa Munda, GMDA Chairman Dhiren Baruah, Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner Dr M Angamuthu, and officials of the Forest Department and the district administration attended the event.