Five days after the state govenment launched the ambitious four-crore tree plantation drive, participation from residents across the state is yet to pick up momentum. In the first five day, only 1,554 persons have taken part in the drive and have planted 20,329 seedlings, according to an analysis by the state forest department. Despite a slow response to the drive that was launched on July 1 from residents across the state, a total of 3.16 crore seedlings were planted till July 5, majority of which was planted by various departments of the state government.
Pune, Thane, Chandrapur, Nagpur, Nashik and Gadchiroli were among the leading districts in the drive. Mumbai ranked lowest with only 2,652 seedlings planted in the city. Last year, 2.8 crore saplings were planted. Information about the number of seedlings that have been planted has to be uploaded on the Forest department’s website. According to the data from the department’s website, Tourism, Medical Education, Labour, Finance and Central Railway departments were among the poor performers in the plantation drive. Forest officials said it was likely that some departments might not have uploaded the work undertaken by them online.
“There are several people who have purchased saplings from our stalls across the city. Information on whether all have been planted or not has to be uploaded on our website, and only then a true picture will emerge,” Vivek Khandekar, Chief Conservator of Forests (Territorial – Pune circle) told The Indian Express. In Pune city, a total of 42,165 seedlings were planted out of which 20,462 were from the city and 21,703 from Solapur.
In Pune district, among the departments that met 95 per cent of the target were Forest and Social Forestry departments. In Pune district, 10.58 lakh seedlings were planted while Chandrapur and Nashik were the top two districts with 26.28 lakh and 25.65 lakh seedlings being planted respectively. The Forest department left all other departments behind by planting 1.92 crore saplings. Gram panchayats and Rural Development department were the next best performers with 28.08 lakh and 14.77 lakh saplings respectively till July 5.
Several other departments like Tourism, Higher Technical Education, Water Supply and Sanitation, Finance, Law and Judiciary, Urban Development and others are yet to upload their efforts in the plantation drive. Only 335 educational institutes participated in the drive while a large number of residents across the district failed to participate.