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Himachal to plant 1.20 crore saplings in 12000 hectare area

                Shimla –  INF       

            The Himachal  State Government has set a target of planting about 1.20 crore saplings in 12000 hectares of area of 41 Forest Divisions of the State. This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the 71st State level Van Mahotsav here today. Chief Minister also planted sapling of ‘Chinar’ in the premises of Peterhof.

             Chief Minister said that Government has started six new schemes for promoting afforestation in the State which include Vidyarthi Van Mitra Yojna, Samudayik Van Samvardhan Yojna, Van Samridhi Jan Samridhi Yojna, Policy for setting New Industries based on Cheer Pine Needles, Providing Weapons to Forest Guards and a  scheme to reward local communities for their outstanding contribution in afforestation process.

             Jai Ram Thakur said that in order to sensitize the people regarding rights of girl child and also associating the community in process of afforestation, the Government has also started ‘Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam’ Scheme. He said that under this scheme the family of girl child at the time of her birth are provided five saplings, tree guard, a name plate of girl child, 20 kg. vermi compost and technical knowhow.

             Chief Minister said that the State Government was keeping a strict vigil on encroachment of forest land. He said that strict action was being taken against illegal forest felling. He said that the forest department must ensure survival rate of the saplings. He said that it was heartening  to know that the survival rate of sapling during the last about two years have been about 70 percent which was one of the best in the country.

            Jai Ram Thakur said that about 50 thousand saplings would be planted today throughout the State which was a record in itself. He asked the department to ensure participation of general public, NGOs and Panchayati Raj Institutions in the process of afforestation. He said that general public should also be motivated to involve themselves in afforestation and also protect the forest wealth. He said that the rural population must also be motivated to preserve the flora and fauna of the State.

            Chief Minister also interacted with Speaker Vidhan Sabha Vipin Singh Parmar who planted sapling in Palampur Forest Division, Rural Development Minister Virender Kanwar who planted sapling at Una Forest Division, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Rajiv Saizal who planted at Solan Forest Division, Deputy Speaker Hans Raj who planted a sapling at Churah Sub Division.  He also interacted with several other MLAs through video conferencing on the occasion.

               Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the State Forest Department has been playing a key role in increasing the forest cover in the State. He urged the Chief Minister to transfer the forests of Shimla town to the Municipal Corporation Shimla for their better management and protection. He said that Education Department was also helping in afforestation process by motivating the students and teachers to plant saplings.

                  Forest Minister Govind Thakur said that the Forest Department was ensuring that more and more area of the state was brought under the forest cover. He said that several afforestation schemes have been initiated in the State and the Department was also ensuring survival of the saplings planted during that Van Mahotsav. He said that it was for the first time that Van Mahatsov was being celebrated simultaneously  in 41 forests blacks.

                      

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