Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma takes part in plantation | CMO, Assam

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma advocated for a drone survey of all the forest areas of the state after every six months to keep a tab on the loss or gain of the forest areas.

“Forest department during all these years has maintained its focus mostly towards Kaziranga National Park, while there was a need to focus rationally towards others forest areas as well. This has led to the depletion of forest cover due to deforestation and encroachment among others,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said during the ceremonial launch of the Chief Minister’s Institutional Plantation Programme (CMIPP) in Guwahati on July 17.

“Therefore, the forest department now should focus towards reclaiming forest cover.”

For this, the CM directed the department to conduct a bi-annual drone survey of all forests and compare the data with previous drone surveys to ascertain the loss or gain in forest cover apart from ensuring the survival of saplings planted on various occasions.

The chief minister asked the forest department to prepare modalities for shifting settlers who are genuinely landless from forest areas to non-forest areas and adopt a zero-tolerance approach against all recent encroachments in forest areas.

Himanta Biswa Sarma also asked the department to take steps for turning the nursery business commercially more profitable by following success models from other states.

The CMIPP is an initiative of the science, technology and climate change department of the Assam government. The CMIPP will continue until August 15, 2022.

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 Assam government.

During the month-long programme, native saplings of plant species will be planted in the institutional premises, which will be followed by proper care by the officials and will 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 the conservation of the native plant species, aesthetic beautification of the institutional premises and collective participation in climate action.

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