Bengaluru, June 1: In one of the massive green drives launched in Garden City, the Indian Army is on a mission to plant over 30,000 saplings in the next two weeks.
At a simple ceremony held at the historic Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground in the heart of the city on Wednesday, Major General K S Nijjar, General Officer Commanding, Karnataka and Kerala Sub Area Command, marshaled his men to begin the exercise.
He was joined by a large number of officers, jawans and their families - all braving the scorching the heat in the morning.
"This is an important mission of Indian Army and we want to contribute to Bengaluru city's green landscape. We intent to plant around 30,000 saplings, including ornamental and fruits bearing one at various military units in Bengaluru," Maj Gen Nijjar said.
According to Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials attached to the Public Relations Office, the Deputy Conservator of Forest (Urban Forestry) Vanavikas, Bengaluru organised the supply of saplings. They also gave the technical advice in consonance with urban forestry plans.
The officials said that the saplings are being planted before Monsoon sets in, thereby ensuring greater survivability.
Ex-Servicemen welfare tops our agenda: Maj Gen Nijjar
Speaking to OneIndia, Maj Gen Nijjar said that he is committed towards the welfare of Ex-Servicemen under his Command.
"The wellbeing of Ex-Servicemen and their families has always been top of our agenda," he said.
To a query on the civil-military relationship, the senior official said that he has now posted a man at Vidhana Sounda permanently.
"The idea is to have quick responses to the needs from both sides. The Indian Army has spared no effort in keeping the highest civil-military standards. We are in constant talks with the state government," Maj Gen Nijjar added.
He said the Sub-Area has been taking actions from time to time to deal with land-grabbers. He also promised to have a periodic Army-Media interaction.
Maj Gen Nijjar, who took charge as the GOC in December 2015, has been spearheading series of initiatives in Karnataka and Kerala during the last six months.
A 1982 batch officer commissioned in the Corps of Artillery, has the operational experience with successful command of an Infantry Brigade in an operationally-active high-altitude environment.