Shillong, July 20: Meghalaya, which has been under the scanner of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for reckless mining of minerals, is now eyeing to achieve two milestones by planting at least 700,700 saplings in one day.
The first milestone is to regenerate its greenery and another is to create a world record by planting the most number of saplings on a single day.
The tribunal banned coal mining in the entire Meghalaya since April 17 and held mining activities responsible for the pollution of rivers and environment.
On June 9, the tribunal allowed transportation of coal already extracted and kept in the open field.
The next hearing of the tribunal is on August 1 in Shillong.
The initiative is being confined to the East Khasi Hills district and if everything goes as planned, plantation drives will be organised at various locations of the district on July 30.
The initiative is the brainchild of East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner Sanjay Goyal.
He said the plantation drive is also part of Mission Green and the chief minister’s Youth For Green campaigns.
“We have spoken to officials of Limca Book of World Records regarding the criteria and whether the figure (700,700) we are proposing for the plantation drive qualifies for a world record. We are waiting for their response,” Goyal told this correspondent today.
According to Goyal, the plantation drive is being proposed in various locations of community land under the eight community and rural development blocks in the district.
The kind of saplings to be planted is mostly timber and a few fruit-bearing trees.
Goyal said a person has to plant at least 120 saplings and the number of people required to plant all saplings is between 6,000 and 7,000.
“The drive is purely voluntary. We expect that villagers, students and public would take part in it,” Goyal said.
The two departments — soil and water conservation and environment and forests — would provide 1.51 lakh and 2.16 lakh saplings, the deputy commissioner said.
In some of the blocks, community land has been identified for the plantation drive which is as big as 20 hectares and 77 hectares in Mawphlang and Mawsynram areas respectively.
Goyal said detailed information would be shared with public through the media once the programme is finalised especially after receiving proper information from the Limca Book of World Records on the issue.
In Assam, 40,885 saplings were planted by 100 people within an hour near the Chirang reserve forest in lower Assam on April 29, 2012.