The draft of the ambitious green mission to increase the forest cover and enhance eco-system services will be finalised by the month-end and then submitted to the Prime Minister, Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Friday.

“The draft document for the mission will be finalised by this month end and submitted to the Prime Minister,” he told the NGOs at the sixth public consultation organised about the plan at Indian Forest Management Institute here.

‘National Mission for a Green India’ aims to increase the forest cover by 10 million hectares by 2020 and enhance eco-system services at an estimated cost of Rs 44,000 crore.

The last public consultation on the draft will take place at Mysore on Monday, Mr. Ramesh said.

The pilot project on the mission is likely to take off in the next couple of months and will go on for around two years, the Minister said.

He said de-greening can’t be stopped completely in the country, but there was a room to put a check on it.

Development is essential and work of the government now a days is measured by people in growth terms, Mr. Ramesh said.

Power generation, highways construction and other development works are bound to take place, he said.

Mr. Ramesh admitted that development works had inflicted serious damage to environment and forests in some States.

However, he said, afforestation/re-greening should be taken up on a large scale to make up the loss.

The Minister said he was winning praises from the NGOs and some people in regard to environment protection, but was at the receiving end from others, whom he did not name.

“I get garlands from you all but chappals from others,” he told the gathering.

The mission is one of the eight missions of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) unveiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year, committing to combat challenges of global warming caused by green house gas emissions.