The Telangana government has proposed to add 230 crore plants in the next three years under a flagship programme which envisages boosting of tree cover in the state by nearly eight per cent.
As part of the programme "Telangana Ku Haritha Haram", 130 crore seedlings shall be planted outside forest areas (10 crore within Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority area and 120 crore in rest of the areas of the state).
Another 100 crore plants would be rejuvenated by intensive protection of the forests and from the existing root stock in the forest areas, according to the government.
"The programme envisages increasing the tree cover of the state from present 25.16 per cent to 33 per cent of the total geographical area of the state. This objective is sought to be achieved by a multi-pronged approach of rejuvenating degraded forests, ensuring more effective protection of forests against smuggling, encroachment, fire, grazing and intensive soil and moisture conservation measures both inside and outside forest following the watershed approach," an official release said.
In addition, major fillip is sought to be given to social forestry by taking up massive plantation activities outside forest areas. The greening efforts will be taken up involving all stakeholders, it was stated.
The thrust areas to achieve the objectives are twofold; one, initiatives in forest areas and the other, initiatives outside forest areas, according to the government.
In the forest area, activities like forest protection, afforestation, rejuvenating degraded forests and treatment of RoFR (Recognition of Forest Rights) areas will be taken up.
Conservation of biodiversity rich areas outside the protected area network would be encouraged with the active collaboration of all stakeholders including the Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs).
"Modern methods of forest management would be adapted using the latest technological interventions like improved planting stock, GIS, MIS, Remote Sensing, DGPS, etc. that are available so as to make forest management in Telangana state as a role model for the other states," the statement said.
In the outside forest area, avenue plantation, barren hill afforestation, institutional plantations, homestead plantations, agro forestry, tank foreshore, canal bank, river bank and rivulets, green Panchayats, creation of "Smriti vanams" and planting in urban residential colonies would be taken up.
To achieve the objectives envisaged under the flagship programme and for taking up massive plantations during 2015 planting season, a detailed exercise for identification of nurseries and the sites available for raising plantations have been undertaken under "Mana Vooru Mana Pranalika" initiative of the Government.
Village-wise, Mandal-wise and district-wise areas and nurseries have been identified. About 3699 number of nurseries are identified for raising the adequate nursery stock by the various agencies involved (Forest Department, DWMA, agriculture, horticulture, tribal welfare etc) for achieving the target of raising seedlings at 40 lakh seedlings per assembly constituency.
Further, necessary action is being taken by the different agencies for procurement of polythene bags and seeds for grounding the nurseries, the statement said.