Anantapur set for a green makeover

AP Forest dept. unveils plans to plant 95 lakh saplings in the district

The Forest Department is planning to plant 95 lakh saplings in Anantapur district during the current monsoon season beginning July 22 to improve green cover in both forest and revenue/urban lands, District Forest Officer R. Jagannath Singh has said.

Forest cover in the district is 10.5% according to the satellite imagery and green cover is 6% in urban or revenue lands, which would be significantly improved in the coming days as part of the ‘Jagananna Pachathoranam’ with the Forest Department supplying 44 lakh saplings, 15 lakhs by the Sericulture department and 38 lakhs by the Horticulture Department, Mr. Singh said at a press conference here on Monday.

Mulberry plants

This time, even mulberry plants would be counted as part of the sapling plantation drive, though their lifespan is short, while the Forest Department plans to cover 1,200 hectares of reserve forest land by planting saplings raised at its nurseries all over the district.

“We will supply saplings that are between one metre and 3 metre high and ensure that the survival rate is at least 85% for the next three months,” he added. Some of the varieties the Forest Department would supply include neem and gulmohar, and the Horticulture Department would supply pomegranate and other varieties and the Sericulture Department, mulberry saplings. In all, 60 varieties were being raised and 12 lakh of them had already been supplied to the targeted areas. About ₹1 crore had been spent on raising the saplings under the NREGS programme.

Growth and survival of the saplings would be monitored by the Village and Ward Secretariats and Panchayat Secretaries would be held accountable for the survival rate of the saplings. Demonstrations were being given to the people of different departments and people on pitting and planting operations.

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