Mumbai: From builders to religious gurus and from corporate houses to film stars, the Maharashtra government is seeking participation from all sections of society to achieve its target of planting 13 crore saplings in July.
The government is also encouraging expansion of the green army, a volunteer-based group. Till now, around 48 lakh people have registered with the green army, and the State has aimed to raise the number to one crore by the end of this year.
Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Saturday held meetings with different groups of builders, corporate houses, religious gurus, NGOs, and film industry leaders. The multiplexes and single-screen theatres will soon have documentaries on the State’s green drive and tree plantation target.
“We expect the industries to be known as green industries. The open spaces in various industrial areas can be used for this purpose. The owners can ask their workers to take part in the drive,” Mr. Mungantiwar said.
The Forest Minister, who also handles the Finance portfolio, said the companies can adopt adjoining villages, and implement the tree plantation drive through their corporate social responsibility activities.
The minister also said the department is exploring the possibility to enter into tripartite agreements with companies to speed up the drive where land will be made available for seven years.
“We have people from different walks of life — from PhD holders to professionals — joining us for the green drive. We have mobile numbers of up to 26 lakh volunteers,” Mr. Mungantiwar said.
Maharashtra stands number one in categories such as tree cover on not-forest land, mangrove conservation, and bamboo plantation.