120,000 saplings planted in Himachal PradeshAugust 3rd, 2008 - 10:26 pm ICT by IANS
Shimla, Aug 3 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government Sunday carried out the statewide Jan-Jan Sanjivni Van Abhiyaan, under which at least one member of the targeted 120,000 rural and urban families planted a sapling in his or her land. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal started the drive by planting a sapling of Taxus baccata within the premises of his official residence, Oakover, here.
Taxus baccata is an evergreen conifer, commonly known as European yew. It grows about 20 metres in height and bears red fruit. It is also fopund in Asia.
Speaking on the occasion, Dhumal said it was for the first time that such a massive plantation campaign of medicinal and herbal plants was launched in the state with the public participation.
Forest Minister J.P. Nadda told IANS that in the first phase, at least one member of the targeted 120,000 rural and urban families planted a medicinal or herbal sapling.
The saplings of 57 species were distributed among the households through 4,509 centres set up across the state.
Nadda said the aim of the drive was to reclaim 370 hectares through plantation and create awareness among the masses about the depleting flora and fauna and increasing pollution levels.
“The hill state is in fact the first state in the country to take the initiative in combating climate change at the micro-level. During the plantation drive special emphasis was given on such trees that can be used for medicinal purposes,” the minister said.
“It is an ongoing drive. Every year saplings will be planted at various places like schools, colleges, hospitals, cremation grounds and isolated areas through public participation,” he added.
The forest department would carry out an afforestation programme over 20,000 hectares. Nadda added that a compensatory afforestation programme would be launched later to cover 370 hectares in 37 selected blocks.
The 370-hectare area would be fenced so that the plants would be secured from stray animals.
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Tags: chief minister, combating climate change, cremation, european yew, flora and fauna, forest department, forest minister, hectare area, herbal plants, himachal pradesh government, jan jan, medicinal purposes, micro level, nadda, plantation drive, pollution levels, public participation, sapling, stray animals, urban families