Telangana launches drive to attain 33% green cover

HYDERABAD: Billed as the biggest afforestation programme in India’s history, the Telangana Government has launched “Telanganaku Haritha Haram” (green garland to Telangana), a flagship scheme that aims at planting 230 crore saplings across the state over the next three years.

editorial@tribune.com

Suresh Dharur

Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, July 7

Billed as the biggest afforestation programme in India’s history, the Telangana Government has launched “Telanganaku Haritha Haram” (green garland to Telangana), a flagship scheme that aims at planting 230 crore saplings across the state over the next three years.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao launched the programme by planting a sapling at Chilkur Balaji temple in Ranga Reddy district on the city outskirts. The aim is to increase the tree cover in the state from the present 24 per cent to 33 per cent of the total geographical area.

Out of 230 crore seedlings that are proposed to be added to the greenery of the state, 130 crore seedlings are proposed to be planted outside the notified forest areas, including 10 crore within the limits of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority.

As many as 40 lakh saplings will be planted in each of the 119 Assembly constituencies. In every village, 40,000 saplings will be planted every year. “Never in the history of our country such a massive afforestation programme has been ever undertaken. We want to make it a people’s movement,” the Chief Minister said and appealed to the students, employees and NGOs to participate in the flagship programme.

The objective of the programme is to improve the green cover, maintain ecological balance and to ensure sustainable livelihoods.

The multi-pronged approach would involve rejuvenating degraded forests, ensuring more effective protection of forests against smuggling, encroachment, fire, grazing and intensive soil and moisture conservation measures.

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