The State Government has always been considerate towards protection of ecology and maintaining the nature equilibrium, said Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh after planting pling of Chinar in the Campus of Industrial Training Institute (ITI) near Institute of Advanced Studies in Shimla today.
Addressing thereafter, he said that the forests and human beings were inter-dependent on each other for their survival and it was our duty not only to preserve the forests but also plant more trees and ensure their survival. He said that the forests go a long way in maintaining the ecological balance. He stressed the need for preservation of animals, birds and wild life which maintain the eco system.
The Government has fixed a target of planting around 1 crore saplings including 35 lakhs Herbal Plants on 15000 hectare of forest land in the year 2016-17, by spending an amount of Rs.150 crore, he disclosed. He said that such type of efforts either by the Government or by the NGOs make the common people aware about the need of plantation and inspire them for afforestation.
The Chief Minister said that our State was first in Asia to earn Carbon Credit and as per the results a sum of Rs 1.93 crore had been received from GoI as the first installment which had been distributed to self-help groups associated with the plantation drives and allied activities in Panchayats of the State.
He said that he had banned the use of wooden boxes for packing of apples and introduced carton boxes which helped in saving the forest wealth in a big way and growers got remunerative prices of their produce. He said that saw mills (Aara machines) were removed from forest land in the State which also helped in saving the trees.
The Chief Minister said that the forest and agriculture land at some places in the State had been infested by the weeds especially ‘lantana’ thereby affecting the source of income of communities. He said that the forest land was infested by weeds and the present Government had made a provision to eradicate lantana from 13000 hectare of forest land.