| Chief minister Nitish Kumar ties a rakhi to a tree at Eco Park on Wednesday. Food and civil supplies minister Shyam Rajak (in picture right) accompanied him. Nitish asked residents to protect trees like their siblings. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Patna is going green.
The state forests department has embarked on a plantation drive under its urban forestry scheme in the city. Its target is to plant around 30,000 saplings of various species, including gulmohar, kachnar, mahogany and musanda, in the current fiscal.
Gopal Singh, district forest officer, Patna, claimed 23,500 of the targeted 30,000 saplings have already been planted. Once fully grown, the trees would rise up to more than 10 feet.
The officer said: “At present, we are working on various types of forestry schemes. Under the urban forestry scheme, we have targeted to plant 30,000 saplings across the city. Though these plants are mostly shade-giving trees, we are working with flowering trees too. This is for the first time we have planted saplings which will grow up to be more than 10-foot-high trees.”
Of the 23,500 trees planted, sources said around 9,000 were planted in the 2012-13 fiscal.
The forest department officials said the plantation drive is carried out ensuring that the saplings suffer the minimum damage. Protective barriers are put in for that.
Singh said: “Blocks of saplings planted on roads like Bailey Road and Polo Road are being protected by steel fences, while barbwires are being used to fence saplings where there might be threat of damage from cattle and stray animals. In other places, 10ft to 15ft bamboo fences are put in place. Cages are also being used to protect individual trees.”
The department has also undertaken beautification drives and distribution of free saplings among residents.
A target of 27,250 saplings to be distributed among residents in a bid to increase the city’s green cover has been chalked out.
“To promote plantation practice among the residents, we had invited application for distribution of five free fruit-bearing trees — mango, guava, lemon, drumstick and bel. The drive is on at present,” said Singh.
Sources claimed the different plantation activities undertaken by the department are aimed at increasing the state’s green cover from the present 9.7 per cent to 15 per cent by 2017.
Among the beautification works planned, Singh said: “Deshratna Marg, Circular Road, Strand Road and Tailor Road are the areas which have been selected for carrying out beautification drives. Works, including ground-levelling, development of mounds and transplanting grass beds, have been completed. Development of jogging tracks among other landscaping work would be completed within a couple of weeks.”