Less takers for Green Army in Green City!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Mar 2017 10:00:43

By Ramesh Marulkar,

It may come as a shocker for Nagpurians as Nagpur district finds last position in the district-wise list of members registered for the Green Army, in Maharashtra. A total of 9,49,891members have been registered as on March 18 with every district having minimum member-count in four digits. While Nagpur district has the lowest count of
619 members, Latur district tops the chart with 2,07,393 members registered for the Green Army.

Sudhir Mungantiwar, Forest Minister, has taken up an initiative in ambitious tree plantation programme to plant 50 crore saplings across Maharashtra during the next three years. Realising the need for adequate manpower to participate in this massive plantation programme, he launched Green Army in Maharashtra. the aim was to register at least one crore members. He also instructed forest officers to make sincere efforts in their respective areas to mobilise masses to accomplish the plantation target.

The government launched registration for members to the Green Army all over Maharashtra from January 5 through its webiste.
All the other districts are fairing well in the registration drive, the citizens of the Green City of the state have given it a cold shoulder. Even those residing in rural parts of Nagpur district have responded to it poorly.

Interest shown by the people from Marathwada, especially from Latur district, is surprisingly high because of the fact that the region has meagre green cover. The region has been facing severe drought and other consequences also due to deforestation. Realising the importance of green cover, the citizens and nature lovers of Marathwada are taking much interest in this gigantic tree plantation programme.

After Latur district, Osmanabad district has registered as many as 1,34,986 volunteers registering themselves for the Green Army, while Beed, Jalna, Nanded, Aurangabad and Parbhani districts have registered over 8,000 to 24,000 volunteers respectively.

In Vidarbha, Yavatmal district has registered as many as 41, 937 volunteers till March 18, followed by Akola district with 23,785 members. The other districts of the region have registered volunteers over 2,500 to 5,670 - all in four digits.
Only Nagpur district among all the 36 districts of the State has performed low, despite distinction of Nagpur being Green City in Maharashtra.

It may be mentioned that the State Government has raised the target of plantation to 50 crore, following success it received during plantation of 2 crore saplings on a single day on July 1, 2016. The government has planned to undertake 4 crore plantations during 2017-18, 13 crore during 2018-19 and 33 crore during 2019-20.

The plantations are to be taken up on non-forest lands like wastelands, roadside, barren, blanks, boundaries of agriculture fields, by the sides of canals, railway lines, barren hillocks, private lands etc. The government will involve its departments, educational institutions, cooperative societies, housing societies, corporates, industry, NGOs, nature lovers, citizens, rural masses etc for success of the mega drive.

Forest Department has no sufficient staff in non-forest areas to look after the gigantic task. Therefore, it has urged the government to consider appointment of adequate staff for the purpose. Moreover, the volunteers will also play a vital role in making this ambitious programme successful. Therefore, the government wants their active cooperation in this respect.

According to experts, there should be 33 per cent of green cover in the geographical area of a state.
Maharashtra has only 20 per cent forest cover and now it has to fulfill the target of remaining 13 per cent, which comes to plantations in over 40,000 sq km area.