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Pune: At a time when hundreds of trees are mercilessly being chopped for the ongoing Metro III project in Mumbai, the Maharashtra government has launched a new initiative to show its seriousness towards preserving the state's green cover.

As part of the initiative, the forest department of the state has introduced a new app, My Plants, where one can get all the necessary information about indoor and outdoor plants, and how to grow a healthy sapling. Further, those who register as members of the Green Army on the forest department's website (mahaforest. can also keep a record of the number of sapling they plant on the app.

Over 20 lakh volunteers, including students from the National Cadet Corps, had join the state's environmental campaign by becoming members of the Green Army. The group has been tasked with the responsibility of planting saplings in their vicinity and also safeguarding trees in their area. With only 33 per cent of the total land area in the state marked as forest zone, the state is now desperate to preserve its rich flora and fauna.

The app will be launched tomorrow at the hands of forest minister of state Sudhir Mungantiwar.

Speaking to mid-day, Vivek Khandekar, chief conservation of forest (Pune) said, "The app will help broaden citizens' knowledge about plants and the importance of planting trees."

"The My Plants app will also help us create a database of plants planted in the area and serve as a great platform, where authentic information about plants will be shared," he added.