Nearly 7.50 lakh new saplings will be planted in 2019-20 in Noida and Greater Noida as part of Uttar Pradesh government’s efforts to improve green cover in the state, according to government officials.
The district administration said in a statement that 3.73 lakh of the 7.49 lakh saplings would be planted on August 15 this year during a massive afforestation drive, like last year. All government departments including the police and the three local authorities, Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority, and Yamuna Expressway Authority, have been allotted targets, it said.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expects large scale public participation in the afforestation drive this year also with a targeted planting of 22.55 crore saplings across the state in 2019-20 and 11.27 crore on August 15 alone, according to an official letter.
District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh said the improving green cover and resurrecting water bodies in Gautam Buddh Nagar are among top priorities for the administration. He said, “We will carry out the plantations on a large-scale and involve all sections of the society. Efforts are on to rope in private players also to utilise their expertise too in the afforestation drive.”
Mr. Singh further told news agencies,” Improving the green cover and resurrecting water bodies are top priorities of the district administration and we are focussing on that.”
The Noida Authority, which had led the campaign in 2018, has been allotted a target of 1.80 lakh saplings this year, and 90,000 on August 15 itself, while the Greater Noida authority will plant 80,000 saplings in the year and half of them on Independence Day, it said. The district forest department has been entrusted with the biggest chunk of nearly two lakh plantations across Gautam Buddh Nagar through the year, with half of them to be done on August 15, the letter said.
Earlier this year, the people of Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad turned the barren land green through Tree Plantation. The administration and people of the district have been on a tree-plantation spree since last two years to increase the present forest cover of 1.99 percent which is abysmally low in comparison to the recommended limit of 33 percent of the total area of a district by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, And Climate Change. Currently, the district has planted over 21 lakh trees till now and has even managed to make its ravine areas which have dry and unproductive soil, to go green.
The moves in Noida and greater noida are likely to be racked with great interest by environmentalists and people worried about the unhealthy air pollution levels in the whole NCR region.