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Monsoon date for green wrap

The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government wants Calcutta to be draped in green.

On Tuesday, chief secretary Ashok Gupta met top officials of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority, Public Works Department (PWD) and the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) and asked them to participate in a green initiative by the government.

The agencies were asked to undertake plantation on land owned by them, to which they readily agreed.

The meeting followed the unveiling of the 'Action Plan for Greening Calcutta' by the forest department before the chief secretary and other officials.

Gupta also asked the HRBC to explore ways of growing ivy and other creepers around flyover and roadside railings and developing gardens underneath flyovers.

The meeting was attended by forest secretary R.K. Tripathy, CMC commissioner Debashis Som, urban development secretary K.S. Rajendra Kumar, PWD secretary Kalyani Chowdhury and officials from the transport department and HRBC.

The action plan envisages plantation of 100,000 saplings in Calcutta during monsoon.

A proposal to form a committee, chaired by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, to monitor the city greens was considered during the meeting. Once approved, the committee, with the mayor as vice-chairman, would monitor the implementation of Calcutta Bio-Aesthetic Plan ' an annual plantation exercise.

The committee will set an annual target on tree plantation, provide funds and fix the responsibility of implementation with a timeframe, an official said. The chief secretary will be the convener of the committee. Delhi has a similar committee.

'The forest department will monitor the greening project, implementation of which would cost around Rs 2.78 crore,' forest secretary R.K. Tripathy said.

Of the 100,000 saplings, 20,000 would be planted along major roads in the city and a same number would be planted along approach roads to Vidyasagar Setu, on Mayo Road, between Strand Road and Fort William and in Brigade Parade Grounds.

Medium-sized trees would be planted in boulevards and islands as part of the plan. Roadside gardens will also be developed.

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