Western Ghats Task force Chairman Ananth Hegde Ashisar on Saturday said that a programme would be launched next month to plant two crore saplings across the State.

He told presspersons here that “Vriksharopan Abhiyan” programme would be launched after the onset of monsoon. The month-long programme would be taken up at all levels of administration. Saplings would be planted along the roads.

The State had 4,000 km of national highways, 21,000 km of State highways and 38,000 km of district roads. Saplings had been planted along 15,000 km of roads in the State, he said.

Mr. Ashisar said that farmers' organisations, Forest Department, educational institutions and gram panchayats would be roped in to plant saplings. The task force had submitted a report on the need for conservation of the Western Ghats in the State.

Stressing the need for a framework to implement eco-tourism projects in the State, he said they should not pose problems to the ecology of the region concerned. The task force would suggest a five-point formula to the Government in this regard. Smuggling of medicinal plants from the forests should be stopped.

Awareness would be created among the people to put an end to smuggling of medicinal plants from the forests, he added.

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