Meerut: A tree plantation week along with public awareness programmes was observed as part of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) initiative at Hastinapur city of the district in the state. Gracing the occasion, Rajiv Ranjan, Director-General of NMCG laid the foundation of ‘Panchvati’ biome by planting a sapling. The plantation drive saw the participation of school children, farmers and ‘Ganga Praharis’ who jointly planted 4,000 saplings of five different local varieties at the ‘Panchvati’ biome.
Laying stress on the afforestation work being done in Ganga river basins in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Ranjan said,
We have just planted 4,000 varieties of traditional species of river Ganga and this area is ready with 22 lakh trees planted in this season. We are going to have 56 lakh trees plantations this year.
Later, a public awareness programme was held in the premises of Ganga Interpretation Centre where officers and head of the Forest Department in Uttar Pradesh along with Mr. Ranjan delivered speeches on the relevance of integrated approach required for the restoration of Ganga river basins.
To make school children and the residents of Hastinapur comprehend the relevance of planting more trees in the Ganga basin, the NMCG DG drew an analogy between hair fall and the forest cover required to maintain water table in Ganga river basins.
While addressing the school children and locals, he said,
Some people asked me – What is the need for trees and water set? I’ll give you an example. If we do not have trees and when the rainwater pours in and if we do not have structures like trees to prevent it from flowing into the river, then all the rainwater will exit the ground and would flow into the sea as waste. Now imagine when you have good hair growth on your head and you put oil on it, the oil stays there to provide nourishment. Otherwise, if you had hair fall and do not have much hair growth on your head, all the oil would not stay. It will flow down.
School children also staged a play referring to the pollution of Ganga water by the humankind and the necessity to keep the water clean and nourished by planting more trees.
Efforts for Ganga rejuvenation have moved beyond just STP and effluent management; they now encompass larger issues like conservation of wetlands and flora- fauna found in Ganga basins.
Under a community-led ‘Turtle conservation’ programme, Uttar Pradesh Forest Department has set up a conservation centre for rescuing and rehabilitation of different underwater species and animals thriving in Ganga plains. NMCG recognises the relevance of an integrated approach towards managing basin water needs and has been relentlessly working for the restoration of the wholesomeness of the river Ganges.
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