On the occasion of World Forest Day and World Water Day, Herbal Urban Forestry programme was launched in the city on Thursday. “Telangana State has more forest than national average,” says KP Srivasuki, director general, Center for Forest and Natural Resource Management Studies (CEFNARM).
The initiative of Prgati Biodiversity Knowledge Park in association with United Federation of Residents Welfare Associations (U-FERWAS) and Telangana Builders Federation in line with Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s ‘Telanagana ku Haritha Haram’ programme, plans to plant 230 crore plants in next three years to increase the forest coverage. “Telanagan State has more forest cover than national average. We have 25 per cent of land with forest while national average is 23 per cent. But, ideally one third of the land i.e 33 per cent land must have forest cover. In order to increase forest area in the coming three years they are planning to plant 230 crore trees out which 100 crore trees will be planted in forest area, 120 crore tress outside the forest area and remaining 10 crore in urban areas. Every year `800 crores will be spent from public funds as part of this programme,” says Srivasuki. Pragati group chairman and managing director GBK Rao said that the impact of the rapid destruction of the green cover and concretisation of the cities in the name of urban development is disastrous.
“Right plantation at the right place is the only answer. Sacred herbal plantation at various avenues and urban pockets to provide a pollution free, mosquito free, disease free, virus free, bad bacteria free life to the citizens of Hyderabad and even reduce the temperature levels in the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) region is the need of the hour,” says Rao. “Every assembly constituency will be planted with 40 lakh saplings. This besides spreading green cover will generate employment. To do this we will need 2.5 crore man days,” says Srivasuki and adds, “National Medical Plant Board has sanctioned `7.6 crore to plant medicinal plants in the forest area.”
The urban forestry programme will be kicked off on March 22 at Neem Park, Methodist Colony Welfare Association, Begumpet with herbal plantation and development of rainwater harvesting pits.