Itagar, July 23: Rolling his commitment wagon to increase the forest cover percentage of the state from the existing 82 to 85 per cent and above, Chief Minister bam Tuki on Wednesday enthusiastically took part in the ‘festival of trees’ – ‘plantation programme organised by the environment and forest department here. He along with host of parliamentary secretaries including C T Mein, Phurpa Tsering, former APCS Chairman Rinchin Dorjee, Chief Councillor of Itagar Municipal Council Kipa Kaku, PCCF, DC capital, senior officers from the environment and forest departments and students from Kingcup school planted trees in the Gompa premises to mark the occasion.
Complementing the department of forest and the people of Aruchal Pradesh for preserving the rich forest which had convinced the 14th Fince Commission to recommend for higher grants for the state from the current year, CM appealed all sections of the society to join hands to increase the forest cover so that the faith enthused by the FFC is upheld, an official communiqué said here today. Tuki reiterated for establishment of Green Corps (Green Army) in every school which was started in the year 2000-2001 but somehow got discontinued. The green corps comprised of students who were directly involved in environment protection and organised plantation programmes in their respective areas.
He directed the department to work out modalities in coordition with the department of education to restart Green Corps. While directing the department of Education to incorporate environment forest and wild life protection in the syllabus of the school curriculum, CM viewed “we have around 1.5 lakh students in the state and if each student plants a tree a month, imagine how much tree can be planted the whole year”. He categorically appealed the young minds to adopt plantation of tree as a hobby and plant economically viable trees which can fetch them good returns when they grow up.
Dwelling in length over tea, rubber and spices revolution taking shape in the state, Tuki pinned hope that these viable sectors which is gradually gaining importance is expected to change the face of the state’s economy in the days to come. Besides weaning away the farmers from Jhum cultivation, these sectors have substantially contributed in increasing the green cover. Concerned over rapid urbanisation in the twin capital cities which has resulted in massive destruction of forest, Tuki appealed the Itagar Municipal Council to chalk out strategy to contain it. He asked them to prepare a realistic plan to plant more and more trees in every sector and fill the barren hills and mountains of the adjoining areas of the city with afforestation programmes.
“Planting of trees in the hills will provide us water and protect us from soil deterioration which will check landslides while the city will look green if we materialise plantations in town area” CM asserted. He asked the department of environment and forest to help the IMC with funds for the purpose. The chief minister further appealed the NGOs, Media Fraternity, Panchayat leaders and Environmentalists to create awareness on environment protection through all possible means, the communiqué added.