SHILLONG: Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Assam Rifles would adopt the entire Sohra area of Meghalaya for plantation to give the wettest place in the world a fillip as an eco-tourism spot.
On the second day of his Meghalaya visit on Sunday, Shah launched the 'Green Sohra Afforestation Campaign' at Sohra (Cherrapunji).
Shah also inaugurated the Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme. On this occasion, Minister of DoNER G Kishen Reddy, Minister of State for Science & Technology and Department of Space Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (DoNER) BL Verma, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and others were also present.
The Home Minister said that earlier Cherrapunji used to have rains throughout the year, but due to indiscriminate harvesting, the situation has changed. He said that an ambitious project to make Cherrapunji green again got started today. Shah informed that the entire area of Cherrapunji is going to be adopted by Assam Rifles for plantation. He said that 80% of the total land will be planted with traditional and long lifespan trees, the remaining 20% is for animal feed, ornamental plants and nurseries that will meet all the requirements and help reduce tree felling. In this multi-level farming, the forest grows 30 times faster, and after 3 years it becomes free of maintenance. Shah said that this will benefit eco-tourism in Meghalaya.
Shah said that the paramilitary forces deployed to protect the country's borders are also shouldering the responsibility of improving the environment and so far have planted 1.48 crore trees, out of which 1.36 crore plants are growing.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done the work of reducing carbon emissions by distributing a large number of cooking gas cylinders across the country, and today India are at the forefront in hydropower and solar power sectors. With the proposed action plan of the Prime Minister at the Paris Agreement, the whole world is fighting against global warming and carbon emissions," Shah said.
Shah said that as part of the Prime Minister's ambitious Jal Jeevan Mission, the Greater Sohra Water Project will provide pure drinking water through taps to every household.
All the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) are planting trees across the country today as part of the tree plantation drive launched at the initiative of Home Minister Amit Shah. (PIB)