Agra: The Uttar Pradesh government has set an ambitious target of planting 22 crore saplings this rainy season Concerned over depleting forest cover and scanty rains.
Work on identifying sites, arranging free distribution of saplings, and interaction with stakeholders, has already begun. Schools and colleges have been asked to look for spots where planting of saplings can take place in August.
A large number of voluntary organisations have been involved in accelerating greening efforts in the eco-sensitive Taj Trapezium Zone. Agra”s green cover has fallen sharply to around six per cent due to large scale construction and road building in all directions.
The state government has sought the active involvement of all the village panchayats, the forest and the horticulture departments, to provide land for sapling plantation next month.
According to the Forest Survey report, Uttar Pradesh”s green cover is only 9.18 per cent while 33 per cent land has to be under green cover as per rules.
A Forest department official said seven crore saplings would be planted this year on its land. The state government has appealed to two crore farmers, who are beneficiaries under one scheme or the other, to plant 10 saplings each.
Geo tagging will help identify plantation work that is undertaken. Independent agencies will monitor the progress of the green campaign in the state, an official said.