Patna, Aug 29: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday employed a novel method to create public awareness on environmental protection by tying a rakhi on a tree on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan and urged the people to protect Bihar's green cover.
"People should come forward to plant more trees and protect them for a healthy environment," Nitish Kumar said after tying a 'rakhi' on a tree at Rajdhani Vatika here.
Clad in his trademark white cotton kurta-pyjama, the chief minister said: "I request people with folded hands to tie 'rakhis' to trees to protect the environment. It will be a new beginning to save the earth and human beings."
Nitish Kumar said the state government had encouraged and helped people plant trees and protect the green cover of the state.
Several people, including leaders of the ruling Janata Dal-United, government officials and schoolchildren were present on the occasion.
A few years ago, Nitish Kumar launched a green drive to increase the state's forest cover more than five-fold to 35 percent in a decade.
The green drive is the brainchild of the chief minister, who was impressed by Dharhara, a small village 230 km east of Patna in Bhagalpur district.
The village hit the headlines two years ago after villagers planted fruit trees, including mango and litchi, to celebrate the birth of every girl child there. Their endeavour made the village a green haven.
According to official data, the state has nearly nine percent forest cover. Forest officials admit that Bihar lost most of its green cover when the state of Jharkhand was carved out of it in 2000.
Undivided Bihar had a forest cover of 17 percent.