Odisha Government Launches Free Sapling Distribution Drive
A free sapling distribution drive has been launched by the Odisha government, in a bid to revive the green cover loss in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri due to Cyclone Fani. Forest officials confirmed that HDFC Bank has sponsored this initiative as part of their CSR drive.
The seedling distribution vehicles were flagged off by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi at the Biju Patnaik Park in Bhubaneswar. A total of 25 vehicles including 15 in the capital city, five each in Cuttack and Puri will move around distributing saplings to households, encouraging them to plant these in their vicinity.
According to Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force Sandeep Tripathi, the drive will continue till August 21 and at least five lakh saplings will be distributed. Each household can avail up to 10 saplings, depending on certain specified factors, he added.
As per official reports, fourteen districts were affected by the cyclone. And this year, the Forest and Environment department has set a target of distributing four crore saplings to various institutions and the public to revive the green cover.
Earlier, the government had also launched the ‘Post Fani Coastal Shelter Belt and Afforestation Mission’ to start the process of restoring the greenery. Under this mission, the aim is to plant around eighty lakh saplings in cyclone-affected areas.