Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Forest dept launches plantation drive

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 21 � As part of a statewide afforestation plan, the State Forest Department today launched a massive tree plantation drive under the North Kamrup Division. From today, around 6,000 seedlings will be planted on the barren hills of Agyathuri and nearby areas.

This is part of an ambitious plan that intends to plant around 67 lakh seedlings in select parts of the State during this season alone, revealed a source in the Forest Department.

Earlier on June 17, nearly 1,500 seedlings were planted in the Kalitakuchi area of Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary. In the days ahead more such plantation drives will be carried out in and around different parts of the city. All together 17 hills have been identified where seedlings will be planted in the current season.

As the plantation drives would require seedlings in large numbers, the State Forest Minister has emphasized the need to maintain and augment the nurseries from where the seedlings are sourced. To improve the nursery stock, an amount of Rs 3 crore has been earmarked for the development of new nurseries which will be of permanent nature.

In another positive development for the forestry sector, some corporates and private companies have come forward to be part of afforestation campaigns. Recently Bhabani Printers, a leading firm of the State, has expressed its intent to spend Rs 10 lakh annually to plant and maintain seedlings. Some other corporates are likely to take similar steps.

Meanwhile, State Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain has said that while Assam green cover, which stands at 37.33 per cent, is more than the national average, there should be efforts to extend it.

With the two-fold approach of enlarging green cover and spreading awareness about its value, the Forest Department has plans to partner with NGOs to plant seedlings. In another novel attempt, seedlings are also being given free to schoolchildren in many areas of the State.

It may be mentioned that due to encroachment and other human interventions, forests in Assam face critical threats, and while many forests have been lost in recent times to illegal settlers, others have been substantially degraded posing a threat to wildlife as well environmental security of nearby human settlements.

Next Story