INDIA. New Delhi: Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi has underlined the importance of plantation drive and said that there cannot be any bigger service to nature and humanity than to plant as many saplings as possible. In his message for the launching of the nationwide “Vriksharopan Abhiyan (Tree Plantation Drive) -2021,” the Minister said that the benefits of today’s act of plantation will be reaped over by generations. “Vriksharopan Abhiyan” will spread awareness about tree plantation amongst employees, society stakeholders and motivate everyone to nurture plants in their vicinity and beautify our landscapes, the Minister stated. Shri Pralhad Joshi appealed to everyone to plant at least one sapling every year. He pointed out that seeing the little saplings grow in front of our eyes gives the joy of raising a life – a life that in return saves several human lives.
The ceremony was organised in the august presence of the Minister of State for Coal, Mines and Rail, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve, Secretary (Coal), and other senior officers of the Ministry of Coal. The tone of the event was set by a screening of a video showing plantation done by the Hon’ble Union Minister of Coal, Mines, and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi and reading of his message on Vriksharopan Abhiyan – 2021. Officers and employees of Coal and Lignite PSUs along with prominent public figures and local inhabitants from different coalfields joined the event through Video Conferencing.
During the event, more than 250 sites were connected through video conferencing with online visibility. In total, about 6 lakh saplings were planted and more than 3.2 lakh saplings were distributed amongst local inhabitants/agencies with an aim to cover more areas with a green cover and also to sensitize the host community on the importance of plantation.
Being one of the key events of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration in the coal sector, Vriksharopan Abhiyan 2021 got a huge response from all mine sites with about 30000 participants in total. More so, the annual event was attended by more than 300 prominent public figures including six Members of Parliament and 18 MLAs.
During the program, two eco-parks were inaugurated namely Mudwani Dam Eco-park of Northern Coalfields Limited in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh, and Mine -II Eco-Park of NLC India Ltd, Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, and the foundation stone was laid for two parks, namely Jhanjra Eco-Park of Eastern Coalfields Limited in Paschim Bardhaman, West Bengal & Chandrashekhar Azad Orient UG No. 4 Eco-Park of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited in Jharsuguda, Odisha. These eco-parks/tourism sites would provide avenues for recreation, adventure, water sport, bird watching, etc. for the people residing in nearby areas and will be integrated to form part of the local tourism circuit.
Minister of State for Coal, Mines, and Rail, in his address, conveyed that tree plantation is important for the present as well as the future generations. He appreciated the greening initiatives of coal/lignite PSUs and hoped that Vriksharopan Abhiyan will enable these PSUs to achieve their greening target of planting 60 lakh trees this fiscal. In the end, he advised PSUs to ensure that all saplings be protected and nurtured till they attain a stage of self-sustainability.
Secretary, Ministry of Coal stated that Vriksharopan Abhiyan 2021 will bring environmental sustainability and facilitate the return of reclaimed mine sites to the local community. He emphasised the importance of trees for the well-being of the ecosystem and urged everyone to plant and take care of trees. He also advised coal/lignite PSUs to develop their own nurseries for growing seedlings in order to promote plantations in and around mining areas. In the end, he congratulated sustainable development cells of the Ministry and PSUs for the noble initiative and expected that the successful launch of Vriksharopan Abhiyan will spur the ongoing reclamation/plantation drive of coal/lignite PSUs.