Lucknow, May 22 (UNI) To give impetus to forestation and a pollution-free environment, the Uttar Pradesh forest department today announced to plant one crore saplings on July 31.
Addressing a workshop here on the occasion of International Biodiversity Day, UP Forest minister Fateh Bahadur Singh said this would be the largest plantation endeavour on a single day ever in the country.
He further warned that strict action would be taken against persons, involved in illegal felling of trees in the state.
''The illegal felling of trees must stop immediately for the sake of conservation of forest and wildlife. The guilty would be put behind bars, if found involved in the crime,'' he maintained.
Besides, he also announced a grant of Rs 5 crore to the UP State Biodiversity Board.
''I will propose grant of Rs 5 crore to the Board in the next state budget session,'' he promised.
Mr Singh lamented that after the bifurcation of UP into UP and Uttarakhand, the forest area in the state had decreased considerably and roughly accounted for about 9.8 per cent of the total geographical area.
The minister also mentioned the role of media in creating awareness for the conservation of the ecosystem.