The stage is set for a mass sapling planting in Virudhunagar district on Saturday planned on the occasion of World Environment Day. The district administration has distributed 11.87 lakh saplings to individual houses and private lands.

“Planting over 10 lakh saplings on a single day is to make planting a habit in the district. Any record made will be only incidental,” Collector, Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan, told reporters here on Friday.

Planting of saplings will begin at 6 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. Teachers will monitor and document each sapling planted in houses and village administrative officers in educational institutions and other private land.

The district administration has already applied for Guinness Book of World records. The previous record was created by Dera Sacha Sauda in Haryana who planted 9.38 lakh saplings in 2009.

Stating that every single individual children, aged, teachers, self-help groups, NGOs, panchayat presidents and elected representatives were involved to make it a people's project and it should continue in the years to come.

“All that the Government is doing is just coordinating. All the expenses for the project have been met with Rs. 86 lakh donation given by donors,” Ms. Sigy said.

A total of 4.20 lakh gooseberry saplings, 3.85 teak saplings, 2.10 coconut saplings and 84,000 guva saplings have been distributed. Besides, casuarinas, pungan, kumil and tamarind saplings have also been given.

The panchayat presidents have helped in digging the pits. Every household has been given the required number of saplings along with three sticks and gunny bags to make tree guards.

A 10 ml pack of Azospirillum, a micro-nutrient, would also be given along with the saplings. Stating that most number of trees have been given to houses, the Collector expected that mortality rate of plants will be far less than the average of normal mass tree plantation drives.

“We will conduct a survey of the saplings in August and all the failed plants would be replaced with new ones when monsoon will set in the district,” Ms. Sigy said.

The panchayat that would top in post plantation management be given Rs. 10,000 cash reward. The District Revenue Officer, B. Ganesan, was present.

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