More than five crore saplings planted in Himachal
Shimla, Feb 19 (IANS) More than five crore saplings were planted on 48,000 hectares in the four years in Himachal Pradesh, resulting in increase in forest cover, the government said on Sunday.
The plantation included 1.35 crore medicinal plants. An increase of 13 sq km has been recorded owing to efficient conservation and management of forest in the state, a government statement quoting the 2015 report of the Indian Forest Survey Institute said.
During the drive, plantation of broad leaves, wild and medicinal saplinghs has been done so as to generate employment opportunities to the villagers.
For making plantation a success, the forest department has started ‘Smriti Van Yojna’ in urban areas.
The scheme includes plantation drive by people on auspicious occasions like birthdays and anniversaries of their beloved ones. This effort will add to the forestation and environment conservation.
From the next year, this scheme would also be launched in the rural areas, the government said.
Under this scheme, the forest department provides free saplings for plantation.
For the survival of saplings, the department is nurturing them for five years.
Himachal Pradesh, with a quarter of its geographical area under forest cover, has become the first in Asia to earn carbon credits. It has received the first installment of Rs 1.93 crore.
Carbon credits provide a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving the stakeholders, including the panchayats, a monetary value.
A credit gives the owner the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide. Credits can be exchanged between businesses or bought and sold in the international market at current market prices.
The Forest Department records say 17,429 hectares were brought under forest cover in 2013-14 by spending Rs 1.66 crore. Likewise, in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the corresponding figures were 12,730 hectares and 11,449 hectares, respectively.
Intensive forestry works have been started under Green India Mission in Mandi, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Kangra districts.
Under the National Bamboo Mission, a project with an outlay of Rs 3.24 crore is underway during this fiscal in Nahan, Bilaspur, Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra districts.
With the assistance of the National Medicinal Plant Board, five projects are being implemented for the development of medicinal plants at a cost of Rs 24 crore in Kangra, Una, Chamba, Kullu, Sirmaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts.