Guwahati: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma launched a massive plantation program under the banner of CM’s institutional plantation program (CMIPP) by planting a sapling in Janata Bhawan premises on Sunday and later took part in a meeting stressing on larger role by the environment & forest department in reclaiming forest cover and maintaining greenery in the State.
CMIPP, an initiative of the science, technology and climate change department, will continue till 15 August next. This plantation initiative will cover more than 80,000 institutional campuses of all the offices, councils, urban local bodies, corporations, autonomous councils, registered societies and educational institutions under the government.
During the month-long program, local saplings of plant species will be planted in the institutional premises, which would be followed by proper care of the concerned officials and to be monitored through a dedicated web-portal where the institutions will continue to upload geo-tagged photographs of the plants for three years.
This initiative is aimed at enhanced carbon stock through plantation, conservation for the native plant species, aesthetic beautification of the institutional premises and collective participation for climate action. Sarma in his speech asked the education, health and home department, which have maximum number of field offices, to give major focus in implementing the program and also asked all State government departments to register in the declared web-portal.
He directed all institutions to plant 75 saplings in and around the campuses calling such plants as Amrit Briksha to transform the CMIPP to Amrit Briksha Mahotsav coinciding with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration. Underlining the factors for recurrence of flood and resultant devastation, Sarma termed loss of forest cover as a major reason for natural calamities of such magnitude.
He observed that the forest Department during all these years has maintained its focus mostly on Kaziranga National Park, while there was a need to focus rationally towards other forest areas as well. It led to depletion of forest cover due to deforestation, encroachment etc. Hence the department now should focus towards reclaiming forest cover, he commented adding that it should conduct bi-annual drone survey of all forests.
Sarma, in presence of ministers Keshab Mahanta, Atul Bora, Ranoj Pegu, Parimal Suklabaidya, UG Brahma, Jogen Mohan, Nandita Garlosa, Jayanta Malla Baruah, State chief secretary Jishnu Barua with other senior government officials, asked the department to take steps for turning nursery business commercially profitable by following success models from other States.