RANCHI: Nine lakh saplings were planted on the banks of 24 rivers covering all districts of Jharkhand on Monday, as the state government observed 'Nadi Mahotsav' (river festival) with a planation drive. The aim is to plant 2.5 crore saplings in the state by August 15, Chief Minister Raghubar Das said while inaugurating the event on the banks of the Swarnrekha river in Ranchi.
The forest department aims to plant saplings on 15,300 hectares of land, besides restoring natural forests on 7,000 hectares this year. Among the saplings planted will be species found naturally in forests, which the locals are dependent on.
"Jal, Jungle and Zameen (water, land and forests) have been inherited from our forefathers as an asset, hence we must conserve them and hand over a green and clean Jharkhand to the coming generation," said the Chief Minister. "Planting trees will check soil erosion and get adequate water supply from rivers."
Forests are beneficial both economically and scientifically as they provide oxygen and even provide financial security if trees are planted in a planned manner, Das said, adding that next year, 2.5 crore saplings would be planted on 16,000 hectares of land.
Referring to 'Mukhyamantri Jan Van Yojana,' the Chief Minister said that this year, after the subsidy was increased to 75 per cent, four times more farmers applied to plant saplings on their land than in 2017.
Maximum of 2,36,000 saplings will be planted beside Ganga River in Sahebganj, he added.
In addition to that, during the plantation drive around 6,000 hectares of bamboo forests will also be restored in 14 forest divisions which are sensitive to elephants.
Further, Self Help Groups (SHG) formed by the village women are also be being inspired to start processing plants for forest produce like bamboo, tamarind etc.
To preserve forests, forest committees are also being formed in more than 5000 villages located adjacent to forests to make micro-plan under participant forest management programme.