VIJAYAWADA: Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy gave a call to turn Andhra Pradesh into a healthy and pollution-free State by planting one crore saplings by August 31, as aspired by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. He asserted that each and every sapling planted as part of the plantation drive must be protected by arranging tree guards and watering from time to time.
Addressing the District Water Management Agency (DWMA) Project Directors of all the 13 districts through a video conference from Tirupati on Tuesday, Peddireddy while recalling that the survival of plants was not up to the mark despite taking up plantation programmes in the past, underscored the need for focusing on the aspect.
Stating that the responsibility of protecting plants lies on sarpanchs as per the amended Panchayat Raj Act - 2020, he suggested that the sarpanchs constitute committees for watering and safeguarding the plants.
Asserting employees right from field assistants to project directors should take responsibility and be accountable for increasing the green cover of the State, the Minister directed the officials to issue orders for taking action against the sarpanchs and officials failing to protect plants. Suggesting the officials to inculcate the message “our roads - our trees, our village - our trees” among villagers in taking up the plantation program, he felt that increasing the green cover to 33 per cent would ensure environmental balance.