Shimla, Aug 8: Himachal Pradesh government has set a target of planting over one crore saplings this year to increase the depleting green cover in the state.
Himachal Pradesh was the first state in country to earn carbon credit. Accordingly, a sum of Rs 1.93 crore has been received from the central government as the first installment, which was distributed to self-help groups, an official spokesman said here today.
The official said the participation of Panchayats, urban local bodies, NGOs, Education and other Institutions, and other such organisations had helped a lot in survival of new plantations.
This year, new plantations would be raised over 15,000 hectare area at a cost of Rs 150 crore. The state has set a target of planting one crore saplings on 15,000 hectares of forest land by spending Rs 150 crore, the official said.
Supplementing the efforts of the government, the schools would participate in plantation drive across the state on the eve of International Youth Day on August 12. All the government institutions, NGOs and public have been urged to participate in the plantation drive during current rainy season, he added.
The state government has chalked out a new policy for this year which envisaged plantation of one lakh saplings of shahtoot (mulberry), jamun (Jambolan), saru (Cypress), sheesham, spheda (Ceruse), piple, deodar and neem had been planted through MGNREGS.
The maintenance period in plantation areas has been enhanced from three to five years to ensure survival percentage of plants and RCC fencing is being encouraged for preventing deforestation. In order to provide relief to the farmers from weeds, especially 'lantana' a provision of Rs 16.07 crore has been made this year.
Intensive forestry works had been started under Green India Mission in Mandi, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Kangra districts while National Bamboo Mission was launched for development of suitable species of bamboos for Nahan, Bilaspur, Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra districts.
With the assistance of National Medicinal Plant Board, five projects were successfully implemented for development of medicinal plants forests at a cost of Rs 24 crore in Kangra, Una, Chamba, Kullu, Sirmaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts.
A German Development Bank project 'HP Forest Eco-System Climate Proofing' had been launched with an outlay of Rs 310 crore in April 2015 in Kangra and Chamba districts.
An MoU had already been signed for two million Euro grant under the German aided project and the amount would be utilised for training programme of forest officials and development of local communities.
With a view to accelerate the pace of development works, 543.96 hectare forest land has been transferred for 202 projects during the last three-and half-years, he added.