Vijayawada, Jul 29: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today launched 'Mission Harita Andhra Pradesh', with the theme 'green cover for a happy living', by planting saplings at Sunkollu village under Nuzividu mandal in Krishna district.
Interestingly, Harita Andhra Pradesh was a pet project of late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy but Chandrababu has now made it a 'mission' with a new slogan Vanam-Manam (forest and we). The objective of the mission is to increase the green cover in the state to 50 per cent by the year 2029.
Andhra currently has 23 per cent green cover (forest area) and another 3 per cent non-forest, besides 13 lakh hectares of degraded forest. The Chief Minister gave a call to everybody to plant one crore saplings today alone.
"We have to double the green cover by taking up plantation in four lakh acres per annum in the next 10 years. We have to grow 25-30 crore trees every year," the Chief Minister said.
"Everyone breathing oxygen should grow a tree otherwise you can't be called a human being," Chandrababu said. Saplings planted would be geo-tagged while a geo-fencing would be provided to guard the plantation.
Urban forests would be developed in all municipal corporations in the state, he added. Women self-help groups would be entrusted with the task of dibbling for growth of seedlings and they would be given 100 days of work every year for this under the MGNREGA, the Chief Minister announced.
The state government would also establish a tree bank and come out with a white paper and an action plan for implementation of the Mission Harita AP. Ministers, public representatives, officials and others took part in the programme.