Other States

Maharashtra overshoots target, plants over 52 crore trees in two years

The State has overshot its target of planting 50 crore trees in the State, a response to a question in the Legislative Council on Thursday showed. Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod had recently ordered an investigation probe into the erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party government’s claim of planting nearly 50 crore trees in the State, but figures presented by his own department show the target has been met and the trees have mostly survived.

According to data presented in the Council, of the 28.34 crore trees the Forest Department planted, 81.63% have survived. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government has now pledged to plant 10 crore trees every year.

Following complaints about the previous BJP-led government’s tree plantation drive in the State, including a complaint by OBC Welfare Minister Vijay Wadettiwar, Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod had directed the principal secretary (forests) to conduct an investigation through a satellite survey. The chief conservator of forests (Nagpur) will be submitting its report in the matter. Former forest minister and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar had welcomed the investigation but said the State should bring out a white paper on the matter.

In the Council on Thursday, Husnabanu Khalife demanded to know the status of the planted trees and the investigation into the drive with claims of 3 crore trees planted in the first year, 13 crore in second year and 33 crore in third year.

In response to her query, the Forest Minister informed the House that between the monsoon of 2017 and 2019, the Forest Department had a target of planting 28.50 crore trees, of which it was able to plant 28.34 crore trees. Of the trees planted, 23.44 crore or 81.63% survived. A similar target was given to local bodies such as gram panchayats. They were supposed to plant 21.5 crore trees but instead planted 23.76 crore trees. The survival rate of trees planted by local bodies was not available.

Thus, of the target of 50 crore trees, the State had planted 52.1 crore trees.

“The Forest Department’s website has detailed information on this. Wherever there is a specific complaint, scrutiny will be done on a case-by-case basis and action will be taken if irregularity is found,” said the minister.

Minister of State for Forests, Dattatray Bharne, said the government will continue the drive with a target of planting 10 crore trees every year.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 1:53:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-overshoots-target-plants-over-52-crore-trees-in-two-years/article31054401.ece

Next Story