The Ecological wing of the Southern Command’s Territorial Army Battalion has planted over a lakh saplings in and around Pune in less than a year as part of its afforestation initiative, the Command said on the occasion of World Environment Day on Saturday.
The Pune-headquartered Command launched the initiative last August with a target of planting over 1.5 lakh saplings in the region.
Besides, the 136 Territorial Army Battalion (Ecological) has already planted over 50,000 seed balls out of a target of 1 lakh in Pune to help add to the greenery of the city as well as its surroundings, the Command added.
The drive will witness afforestation of around 100 hectare of land at various locations, helping them convert into green zones, it added.
The areas where these activities have already been carried out are The Bombay Engineering Group at Dighi, the College of Military Engineering (CME) at Khadki, National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakwasla, the Central Ordnance Depot at Dehu Road and the Aundh Military Station. The initiative also includes creation of a water body of 2500 square meters with a capacity to store 12.2 lakh liters of rainwater.
The plantation work will continue during the current monsoon season, the Command said.
A press statement from Southern Command said, “As part of celebrations of 75 years of Independence —Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav —Southern Army Commander Lieutenant General JS Nain has launched multiple environment conservation projects under ‘Vision 75 Star’ aimed at enhancing the overall eco system.”
“On the World Environment day, Lt Gen JS Nain said that such environment-protection activities have become a necessity and it is the duty of every citizen to contribute positively in preserving and nurturing the environment for a safe and better future for our future generations,” the press statement added.
“Every year, two to three lakh saplings are planted in various Cantonments of Southern Command’s area of responsibility which is spread over 11 states. In a major afforestation initiative spread across various regions in Maharashtra, 136 TA Battalion (Ecological) has already taken over 200 hectare land and has enhanced its nursery capacity from an initial 40,000 saplings to over two lakh saplings,” the release added.
Environment Day celebrations at INS Shivaji
Lonavala-based Navy’s technical training establishment INS Shivaji conducted various activities between June 3 and 5 to mark the World Environment Day with the theme “Ecosystem Restoration.”
A tree plantation drive was conducted in coordination with the forest department and over 11,000 saplings of fruits and herbal trees were planted. Team Prakriti of Navy Wives Welfare Association, Station Lonavala held a photography and poster making competition along with a competition for best ideas on restoration of forests, electricity and water conservation along with ecosystem restoration.