Hyderabad: With the onset of monsoon and Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s instructions, all government departments are gearing up to commence planting of saplings under Haritha Haram programme.
The State government’s flagship programme was launched in 2015-16 and the sixth edition of the green initiative is set to commence in a few days. Since 2015-16, nearly 172.53 crore seedlings have been planted and 38.32 crore seedlings have been rejuvenated in the State, totalling 210.85 crore seedlings under Haritha Haram programme against the targeted 230 crore plantations.
Officials told Telangana Today that the State government had ensured that there was no dearth of funds for the programme. So far, over Rs 5,400 crore have been spent on the programme. Apart from sapling plantations, forest blocks in and around cities and towns are being developed as urban forest parks to ensure green lung spaces, sustainable and healthy urban areas.
All these efforts put in by different departments in taking up the plantations are yielding good results with the forest cover increasing by four per cent since the launch of the initiative. The forest cover in the State is higher than the national average of 21.34 per cent.
Apart from involving general public, students and various organisations, the State government amended Panchayat Raj and Municipal Acts for effective implementation of Haritha Haram programme.
As per the new rules, it is mandatory for local bodies to ensure 85 per cent survival rate of plants that are planted in their limits. More importantly, nurseries have been established in every gram panchayat and municipality to develop the culture of planting on sustainable basis.
So far, 15,216 nurseries have been set up in the State and the planting material is given free of cost to the people as a means to promote greenery under the programme. This apart, tractors and trollies have been purchased by almost all the Gram Panchayats, which are being used for watering, transportation of the saplings and other purposes, said an official from Panchayat Raj department.
“More importantly, there is a provision for Green Budget in gram panchayats and municipalities. They have to spend 10 per cent of their budget on greenery,“ the official said.
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