The Department of Forest will launch a massive institutional plantation drive across the State on December 21, to mark the birthday of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, under the ‘Jagananna Patcha Thoranam’ programme, said the officials. The tall saplings plantation drive, the major event of the programme, will be held at Sri Krishnadevaraya University in Anantapur.
The plantation drive will be led by YSRCP MLAs, MPs and other public representatives in their respective jurisdictions, and the Forest Department will provide technical support to the programme by supplying saplings available at the department nurseries, said District Forest Officer Gundala Sandeep Krupakar.
According to the officials, the Territorial Forest Department wing and the Social Forestry have more than 8 lakh saplings. DFO Social Forestry Chandra Sekhar would oversee the plantation drive and provide support to anyone taking up the plantation programme.
Anantapur district currently has more than 10 lakh saplings in its nurseries, which will be judiciously distributed to institutions and NGOs with adequate water facilities to nurture the saplings.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party state official representative Duddukunta Venkateswara Reddy has questioned the State Forest Department’s intention behind launching the plantation drive at this time of the year. “Why did the government not begin the plantation drive at the beginning of the June/July southwest monsoon as is the norm? And with excess rains this year, all the saplings would have survived by now,” he added.
Mr. Venkateswara Reddy said that ‘Vana Mahotsavams’ at the institutional and individual levels were taken up in early August last year, but this year, the department seems to have forgotten about them and that it is unfortunate that the programme was not taken up so far this year. For the next six months, there will be no rains and maintaining those newly planted saplings will be an arduous task for any organisation, he said.
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