PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday launched here an ambitious drive of planting five crore saplings in the state within a year.
The drive was set in motion on the occasion of World Environment Day, with the chief minister planting a mahogany sapling on the premises of his official residence, a statement here said.
Simultaneously, saplings were planted across villages, as non-government organisations and paramilitary forces also joined the initiative, it said.
The state government proposes to complete 'Mission 5.
0 crore', which shall be undertaken as part of Kumar's comprehensive anti-climate change 'Jal Jeevan Hariyali' programme, in the financial year 2021-22.
To this end, 5.5 crore saplings are being grown by the forest department, which shall be planting 1.24 crore of these, leaving two crore for the rural development and another 1.50 crore for Jeevika volunteers.
Another 50 lakh saplings will be distributed among farmers of the state, who will be paid honorarium at the rate of Rs 60 per sapling three years after the plantation.
More than 20 lakh saplings would be planted by NGOs, various boards and clubs, besides central paramilitary forces deputed in the state.
Another 15 lakh saplings will be made available to common citizens through mobile vans.
According to an official release, Bihar lost much of its forest reserves following the carving out of Jharkhand in 2000.
Twelve years later, the 'Jal Jeevan Hariyali' project was floated in the state to reverse the damage.
The state now has 15 per cent green cover, which is a significant rise since bifurcation, the release added.