| Maj. Gen. S.S. Jog at the launch of the drive at the Shreegram reserve forest in Dhubri on Friday. Picture by Eastern Projections |
Shreegram (Dhubri), June 12: Last year, Chowtaki village in Dhubri district entered the Guinness World Records book after planting 2.84 lakh saplings in 24 hours.
However, the record lasted just a month, as people of a hamlet in Mexico broke Chowtaki’s record by planting 3.48 lakh saplings in 24 hours.
It’s now the turn of the army to try and regain Assam’s glory.
Three hundred men in olive — from the 21 Jat Regiment — today launched a massive effort, which will see them plant five lakh saplings at the Shreegram reserve forest in Dhubri district.
It took two months for the 21 Jat Regiment based in Dhubri and Bongaigaon districts to prepare and ensure that every thing was in place for the mega event that started this morning.
Wood-based, fruit-bearing and medicinal trees have been included in five lakh saplings along with 10,000 jackfruit, 10,000 olive and 10,000 sal trees.
The Red Horns Division GOC Maj. Gen. S.S. Jog inaugurated the plantation programme at 3.30pm and soon after 300 jawans of the 21 Jat Regiment took over planting the saplings in specified area of the forest.
Commanding officer of 21 Jat Regiment, J.S. Shekhawat, hoped that this plantation record would remain for some time. “It was a gigantic task to prepare for the plantation. Now we are few hours away from making history,” he said.
The soldiers had planted over 1.5 lakh saplings by 5pm. The drive will resume again tomorrow morning and continue till 3.30pm.
The drive is being conducted under the watchful eyes of neutral observers — P.P. Baruah, department of botany, Gauhati University, Bimal Chandra Kar, department of geography, Gauhati University, Bipin Ahangia, department of horticulture, Assam Agriculture University and Ayub Ali, senior scientist, Research Centre, Azara.
Dhubri divisional forest officer H.R. Sarma said besides providing a plot measuring 150 hectares in the forest, it has also supplied 3.75 lakh saplings from nursery of the forest department while the rest of saplings has been collected from Barpeta Road, Bongaigaon, Parbotjhora and other places of lower Assam districts.