Karnal, August 7
With no government land available for plantation along highways, the Haryana Government has embarked upon an innovative scheme to plant saplings on farmers’ land along the state’s 9,000-km-long highways to achieve the target of bringing 10 per cent of the total geographical area of the state under forests by year-end and further expand the green cover to 20 per cent by 2020.
After planting saplings of “Triveni” (Peepal, Bargad and Neem) at the 61st state-level Van Mahotsav at Cooperative Sugar Mill Complex here today, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said five crore saplings would be planted during the current year to contain the adverse effects of global warming and climate change, provide shade, reduce pollution and minimise the desiccating affect of hot winds on agriculture crops besides generating income from agro-forestry. Hooda also asked the National Highway Authority of India to acquire land along the NH for plantations.
However, the implementation of the scheme was not likely to be smooth as farmers were apprehensive and want everything to be given in “black and white”. “We are not ready to take any oral assurance and let the government spell out the detailed scheme in writing before any comment is made,” said Rattan Mann, vice-president of the state unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union.
Hooda called upon the people to plant at least two trees in schools. He also urged them to plant poplar and other fruit trees requiring less water and time instead of eucalyptus.
Finance, Irrigation and Forest Minister Caption Ajay Yadav reiterated the resolve of the forest department to conserve plant species like jaal, jand, sun plant, harah, myrobalan, dhak and the sacred Sita Ashok (Saraca Indica), which were on the verge of extinction.
The department had launched 20 years of integrated project to save the endangered species like chinkara and peafowl and the conservation centres were being established at Jhabua in Rewari, he disclosed.