Ladakh celebrates Earth Day by planting tree saplings

April 22nd, 2011 - 9:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Leh, Apr 22(ANI): Authorities and local residents, including college students, in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region on Friday celebrated the Earth Day with a mass tree plantation drive.

The Earth Day observed this year happens to be 41st annual occasion celebrated around the world.

Rigzen Spalbar, Chief Executive Councillor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), said that the drive is of immense importance for the region as it is literally a cold desert.

He noted that the government is determined to convert the region into a greener and healthier habitat.

“This (plantation drive on Earth Day) holds even more importance for Ladakh, since we all know that this is a barren and a desert land. The reason behind this is the scarcity of water. Even then we all have gathered here and wherever it is possible for us to give water, we are planting trees there. So we have undertaken this drive to make Ladakh a greener city,” Spalbar said.

Dr. Badrinarayan Balaji, Divisional Forest Officer, Ladakh, said that such awareness campaigns are very necessary, as it would educate the people about the importance of greener and aesthetic environment.

He also said that planting and maintaining trees here in Leh would involve lot of intensive care since the moisture content in the atmosphere over Ladakh is comparatively very low.

“Since here in Ladakh, the moisture always content in the air is less than 40 percent and the atmosphere is also very dry. Due to this, it is very difficult to plant trees here and since plants always need water so it is very difficult here (to plant trees). Because when there is only 40 percent of humidity, water from the leaves dries up resulting in the drying up of the whole plant. So it needs lot of intensive care to grow a tree here,” Dr. Balaji said.

Scores of school and college students as well as other residents of Leh and nearby areas participated in this tree plantation drive.

April 22 is dedicated as the Earth Day around the world and is observed with the aim of inspiring and creating responsible actions leading towards environment conservation.

Earth Day, an annual effort to raise public awareness about the environment and inspire actions to clean it up, was first mooted in the United States and now observed in 192 countries around the globe. (ANI)

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