Maha govt to plant over 2 crore saplings on July 1: Minister

Chandrapur (Maha): With a view to increase Maharashtra's green cover, the state government has planned to plant over two crore saplings on July 1, Forests and Environment Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said here today.

"Only 20 per cent land in Maharashtra is covered by forests, which is leading to adverse impact on environment. "The government aims at changing the situation for better future by planting over 2 crore saplings on July 1 throughout the state with the help of various departments, district administrations, NGOs, industries and Railways," Mungantiwar told reporters here.

"The survival rate of plants is around 75 per cent, but we shall see that it would go up to 85 per cent with the use of modern technology. I am confident that Maharashtra would be elevated to number one position with maximum forest cover in the country in next five years," he added.

He also said that schemes like 'Selfie with Tree' and awards for those initiating steps to take care of plants would be floated by the government to encourage people for their active participation in this drive.

Mungantiwar said Maharashtra accounts for 10 per cent of the rail network in the country and the Railways is set to plant 50 lakh saplings, though not as part of the two crore saplings plan.

"The issue has already been discussed with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu," he said.

The minister went on to inform that industrial houses, Western Coalfields Ltd, Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station and other organisations have been given the target of planting trees under their respective Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

A mobile app and a website would be launched for monitoring the data on plantations, their conservation and survival and other factors to make the drive a success, he said.

Mungantiwar also flagged off vehicles for publicising and propagating the importance of tree plantation in the district.

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