In A bid to boost the July 1 tree plantation drive, the government employees have been urged to avail a half day off on Friday, provided they click a selfie with the sapling they planted as a proof that they took part in the drive.
A recent government resolution issued by the forest department stated that all employees across departments would be given time off till 1 pm, so that they can participate in the drive and make the programme a success, stated forest department officials.
“The government employees have to take a selfie with a sapling so that it is ensured that they use the time off for the initiative. The selfies will be uploaded on the website and eventually, the respective nodal officers of each of the departments can check with the employee. Although it is not compulsory, we want maximum participation from officials as the target is huge,’’ said a senior forest official ahead of the drive on Friday. The government employees have been asked to take selfie to ensure participation while there is a separate programme launched for the common man who too can take their own selfie and upload it firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com till July 3.
The state government has initiated this drive to help improve the forest cover in the state. With the requirement being 33 per cent, the present assessment that was done has reflected only 18 per cent. With such a huge gap, a special initiative has been conducted that reaches out to everyone so that sapling plantation is not limited to forest land.
In Pune district, the target given by the state government is 16 lakh of which already 22 lakh pits have been dug. Pune District Forest Officer S Gujar said that they will meet the target as there is a huge response not only from the government sector but also from the private sector. He said that the saplings have been bought from various funds from the centre and the state government, and there are enough saplings for the programme. In Pune district, the plantation drive will be inaugurated by Guardian Minister Girish Bapat at Warje’s forest land and about 4,000 locations have been identified in the district for community plantation while corporate houses and independent societies too have come forward to participate in the programme.
Some government unions have said that even as it is novel idea, the “selfiewithtree” is to ensure that the government employees do not evade the programme. Just taking selfie will not be enough as the person has to ensure that they take care of the sapling for five years and there would be updates taken from the employees on the same, stated Gujar.
The state’s forest department has aimed at planting 50 crore saplings in the state in the coming three years. For the 2 crore sapling plantation in the state, a total of 65,674 sites have been selected across the state. The government has currently 5,32,37,000 saplings ready across various nurseries for this drive on July 1.
The department has given priority not only to planting trees, but also preserving and taking care of them. For preservation and maintenance of 1.5 crore trees to be planted by the Forest Department, one family per 1,000 trees would be provided with employment under the Employment Guarantee Scheme according to the GR while regarding the remaining 50 lakh saplings that would be planted by other government departments and public participation, it is expected that the related departments should take the responsibility for their preservation.
The department is trying to form a green army of 10 lakh students from 89,000 schools of the state and is also working on the concepts such as tree credits. Forest officials have been asked to give saplings to every person coming even at the last hour, urging to participate in the drive. The GR states: Take care that no one would go empty handed from the nurseries, but should take one sapling with him/her.
Source: The Indian Express