Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma emphasized the importance of preserving biodiversity, conserving forests, and transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy resources as the solution to the soaring temperatures and scorching heat in the state. He expressed sympathy for the public and acknowledged the need to address the rising temperatures. The maximum temperatures in various districts were recorded, and as a response to the intense heatwave, some districts advanced school timings.
CM Sarma highlighted the issue of encroachment on forest land, stating that 20% of Assam’s forest land is occupied unlawfully by encroachers. He noted the adverse effects of this destruction and the utilization of hills as living areas. Additionally, he mentioned the challenges posed by global warming and excessive fossil fuel consumption. To address these problems, he emphasized the significance of biodiversity preservation, forest conservation, and the gradual shift to renewable energy sources.
In an effort to enhance the green cover and combat climate change, Himanta Biswa Sarma announced a plan to plant 1 crore saplings (10 million) across the state on October 2, coinciding with Gandhi Jayanti. As a token of appreciation, the state government planned to reward individuals with Rs 100 for planting a sapling and an additional Rs 200 if the sapling survives for three years. The chief minister also expressed the intention to continue the plantation drive in subsequent years if successful.
The Amit Plantation programme at the Chandubi area in Kamrup district saw the participation of Assam governor Gulab Chand Kataria, state ministers, cabinet colleagues, and members of both ruling and opposition parties.