CHENNAI: In yet another iconic initiative aimed at enhancing Tamil Nadu's green cover, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday inaugurated a Statewide Massive Tree Planting Programme of planting 68 lakh seedlings.
The programme, to mark the Chief Minister's 68th birthday, is launched at a cost of Rs. 61.68 Crore, an official release here said. Jayalalithaa inaugurated the programme by planting a banyan sapling at Chennai City Police Commissionerate Complex in Vepery here.
This is part of the Jayalalithaa Government's efforts to increase the forest area and green cover across of the State. Sapplings would be planted in open spaces. Accordingly, 64 lakh saplings were planted in 2012, 65 lakh the next year, 66 lakh during 2014 and 67 lakh in 2015 to mark the Chief Minister's birthday each year.
The statement further said that works pertaining to planting of saplings would be completed before December by the Forest Department. Moreover, the saplings would be planted and maintained in forests, schools, colleges, government and private offices as well as roadsides and parks. Several varieties of saplings including Banyan and Alexandrian laurel are being planted as part of the programme.
Forest Minister M S M Anandan, Environment Minister Thoppu N D Venkatachalam, Chief Secretary Gnanadesikan, advisor to Tamil Nadu Government Sheela Balakrishnan and many senior officials were in attendance at the event.