The Forest Department plans to raise 3.10 lakh saplings in Tiruchi district under the Tamil Nadu Green Mission project during the current year.
Shortly after Chief Minister M.K. Stalin inaugurated the project in Chennai, Collector M. Pradeep Kumar, who is also the president of District Green Committee, planted a sapling in front of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital. Mayor M. Anbazhagan, District Forest Officer G. Kiran, Assistant Conservator of Forests R. Saravanakumar and officials of various departments participated in it.
Mr. Kumar told The Hindu that the mission was aimed at increasing the forest coverage of the State to 33% within 2031-32. The forest cover of the district stood at 10.51%. Programmes had been planned in such a way to achieve the target gradually. In the first phase, 3.1 lakh saplings would be planted on forest, government and private lands. Various civic bodies would also be involved to raise roadside trees under the project. In Tiruchi city, it has been decided to raise 10,000 trees in 2022-23.
Attention would be paid to safeguarding the plants. Duties and responsibilities would be given to those raising trees for regular watering, maintenance and protection from stray animals, the Collector added.
Mr. Kiran said that out of 3.10 lakh saplings, 2.73 lakh saplings would be raised on farmlands and 31,900 saplings on the premises of industries. About 5,000 saplings would be planted on the premises of government offices in the district.
A district-level Green Committee consisting of 13 members had been formed to implement the project. Twenty-four lakh saplings would be planted in 2023-24 in the district. Elaborate arrangements had been made to raise nurseries at M.R. Palayam, Manapparai, Thuvarankurichi, Thuraiyur and other ranges.