Guwahati, Sept 17: Seeking to set a new world record by planting one crore saplings on Sunday in the state, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the Assam government will target improving its own record by planting 8 crore seedlings next year and another 10 crore saplings in 2025.
He said the ‘Amrit Brikshya Andolan’ will increase green cover as well as boost the local economy as commercial trees will mostly be planted during the exercises.
“Today, we will be planting one crore saplings in the state and we are looking forward to setting a new world record in this regard,” Sarma said, kicking off the drive at the state secretariat in the morning.
He said next year the state government will attempt to plant three crore saplings in non-forest areas and another five crore in forest areas, while in 2025, the attempt will be for 5 crore seedlings each in non-forest and forest areas.
On apprehension of survival of the saplings, Sarma said that he was hopeful of a good rate as this year’s plantation is mostly done by private households and the people will take care of the plants.
“Also, since the saplings are of trees with commercial value, people will have an interest in nurturing it as they will get good returns after seven to 10 years,” he added.
The Forest department personnel have also assured of taking care of the saplings planted on community land, the CM said.
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also lauded the mega plantation drive in a letter to the CM on Friday.
Sarma said the state has attempted to set nine world records during the ‘Amrit Brikshya Andolan’, which was started on September 9 and will culminate on Sunday.
The records range from the longest spiral of potted plants to the highest number of plantation by a team in one hour to the largest mosaic created by saplings.
“Though we are yet to receive any communication from the Guinness Book of World Records, but we have the results,” Sarma said, sounding optimistic about the feats.
Observers from the Guinness Book are in the state to witness the attempts at the records.
The CM said about 70 lakh people have been involved in the plantation drive and it will promote love for trees and the environment among the masses.
Sarma also shared details of ‘Amrit Kalash Yatra’ under ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ programme in the state, which will be undertaken from September 19 to October 26.
As part of the Yatra, soil will be collected from households of all villages and selected municipal wards of the state, which will be mixed together and put into urns in Guwahati on October 26.
“From Guwahati, 270 urns will be sent off to New Delhi by train, while an equal number of urns will be kept at the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati,” the CM said.
“The urns will be received at the railway station on October 28 by Assamese residents in the national capital, who will then carry it to the Amrit Udayan where the soil will be mixed with the soil there,” he said.
The 270 urns kept in Guwahati will be later taken to Gohpur, where it will be used in the foundation stone laying of the state’s proposed largest university, Sarma added. (PTI)