Ranchi, Jul 13 (PTI) Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Tuesday asked officials to launch a massive plantation drive on all vacant government land on a mission mode.
The chief minister who announced that 1.5 crore tree saplings would be planted in Jharkhand this year, also urged people to come forward to assist the afforestation drive taking advantage of various government schemes.
Soren said there is a need to strike a balance between nature and commercial activities to preserve the rich legacy of 'Jal, Jungle aur Jameen' (water, forest and land) left by tribal elders of Jharkhand.
'There are huge chunks of vacant government land in the state that should be brought under plantation on a mission mode,' Soren said launching the 72nd Van Mahotsav at Getalsud Dam.
He said of the 1.5 crore saplings to be planted by the Forest department this year, five lakh saplings would be planted on various government land including one lakh in Ranchi alone.
Warning officials that the drive should not be on paper alone, Soren said instead of huge promises actual implementation should be visible on ground as Jharkhand derives its identity from its rich forest cover.
Urging people to plant saplings at their homes, he said he advocated gifting a sapling instead of a bouquet At the same time he urged villagers to come forward to take advantage of various government schemes for afforestation including Mukhyamantri Van Jan Yojna under which 75 per cent subsidy is granted for tree plantation besides benefits under MNREGA.
'This could be a source of income for you,' he said.
Pointing towards global warming, drying of rivers, jungle fire and melting of glaciers in different parts of the globe, he urged people to come forward for protection of forests and rivers.
Concrete jungles are coming up fast everywhere either in the name of setting up big industries or creating infrastructure, he said adding that a balance is needed with environmental mitigation work being taken up..
The state has a total recorded forest area of 23,605 square km, which accounts for 29.61% of the geographical area of the state.
Of the total recorded forest area, Reserved Forests constitute 18.58 per cent, Protected Forests 81.28 per cent, and Unclassed Forests 0.14 per cent.
The total forest and tree cover put together, constitutes about 33.21 per cent of the geographical area of the state. PTI NAM JRC JRC