The State Government has taken up massive plantation of horticultural saplings in all the districts under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and decided to complete plantation work in around 22,000 hectares of land between August 30 and September 15.
The district administrations have already identified land. Official sources said the Collectors have been asked to make the required fund available for plantation works and complete the work by the end of current planting season.
The project will cost the exchequer Rs 391.75 crore. Funds have been sanctioned for 18,482 hectares (ha). While target for Kandhamal district has been set at 1,123 ha, plantation is complete in 430 ha so far.
Similarly, though entire fund has been released for Kendrapara district, plantation has been completed only in 60 ha against the target of 182 ha.
Plantation in about 692 ha against the target of 1,197 ha in Keonjhar district has been completed.
Other districts like Khurda have completed plantation in 199 ha, 820 ha in Koraput, 2,868 ha in Mayurbhanj (target 4,900) and 300 ha in Malkangiri district.
Official sources said plantation of mango, litchi, orange and cashew saplings can be taken up in both government and private land.
Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra reviewed the horticulture project through video-conferencing with Collectors.
Principal Secretary in the Agriculture department Rajesh Verma, Principal Secretary in the Forest and Environment department RK Sharma and senior officials were present.