As the Forest Survey of India (FSI) report suggests that the tree cover in Uttar Pradesh is now 3.05 per cent as compared to the national average of 2.89 per cent, read a press statement by RK Singh, Divisional Forest Officer (Awadh forest range). The significant increase in tree cover can be attributed to a massive plantation drive carried in the state in the past four years.
Since 2017, the state has planted over 65.94 crore saplings of different species while 30 crore (300 million) more saplings are being planted. Also, the drives didn’t focus on plantation only but ensured the safety and survival of the saplings that have now resulted in the increase of the green cover/tree cover.
As reported by a national daily, Environment expert Sanjay Kumar said that the total forest cover was 14,806 sq km in Uttar Pradesh and the greenery in the state had gone up by 25 per cent in the past four years. According to the state government, it has planted over 250 million saplings in a day.
The groundwater level across the state and soil conservation had seen significant improvements. The soil quality, especially in areas in and around Lucknow, Chitrakoot, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, had also improved. Apart from this, the animal and bird species had grown, the statement added.
Alongside the forest department, 26 other departments joined hands for the plantation drive. A target of 10.80 crore saplings was set for the forest department while other departments were given a target of 19.20 crore saplings this year.
As many as 42.17 crore saplings had been prepared by the 1819 nurseries of the forest department. Besides, the silk and horticulture departments have also prepared numerous saplings in their nurseries. The departments have not only been tasked to plant the saplings but also to get them geotagged.