Amid staunch opposition by environmentalists and citizen groups, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has asked the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) to plant 100 trees against each that is cut for the Metro rail project.
Minister for Forests Sudhir Mungantiwar said the MMRCL has been asked to plant the trees in the Mumbai metropolitan region over the next three years.
“Not only has the MMRCL been asked to replant 100 times more trees, but also ensure that those trees survive,” he said.
“The trees will be planted by the MMRCL wherever land is available in the Mumbai metropolitan region,” he said.
On the goal of increasing the state’s forest cover to 33 percent, he said 40 crore trees will have to be planted over 40 lakh square meters of land to achieve the target.
According to Mungantiwar, the state government has now created a bank of available land in each district that could be used for the governments tree plantation drive.
He further revealed that the government was planning to enact a Tree Credit Act, whereby those who plant trees and conserve them, would get credit for it.
Speaking about the government’s ambitious plan to plant four crore trees on July 1 in the state, the minister said, “On the same day last year, the plan was to plant two crore trees, but actually 2.82 crore trees were planted, of which 75 percent trees survived in the last one year.”
“This year, the government, with the help of NGOs, industry and other bodies, intends to plant four crore trees. In the next two years the target is to plant 50 crore trees,” he said.
According to him, 31.60 lakh volunteers have so far registered themselves in the Green Army that is being set up for forest conservation and afforestation activities in the state.
With PTI inputsBack to latest news