Lucknow/Chitrakoot, Jul 5 (IANS): Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on Tuesday, launched the mega plantation drive in Uttar Pradesh by planting a sapling in Chitrakoot.
Nearly 35 crore saplings will be planted across the state by August 15.
Once they grow up, these trees will be enough to provide oxygen for the people of the state and will also fulfil 80 per cent of Uttar Pradesh's carbon sequestration target till 2030.
The chief minister planted a sapling in Karvi Range in Chitrakoot while Governor Anandiben Patel and minister of state for forests and climate change K.P. Malik planted a sapling at Kukrail forest in Lucknow.
The state's ministers and MPs will participate in the drive and plant a sapling in each of the 75 districts.
Uttar Pradesh has divided this year's plantation drive into four parts beginning July 5, with a special focus upon developing 'Shakti Vans' dedicated to women empowerment.
Shakti Vans will be established in each of the 75 districts.
On July 5, a total 25-crore saplings will be planted. Another 5 crore plants (2.5 crore on each day) will be planted on July 6 and July 7.
On August 15, the state will plant 5 crore more saplings to mark the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav under which 75 saplings will specially be planted in each Gram panchayat.
Forest Minister Arun K Saxena said, "A grown-up tree provides 82,420 litres of oxygen while an individual requires 550 litres of oxygen per day. The oxygen generated by these saplings, when they grow big enough, will meet the (oxygen) needs of over 14 crore individuals."
According to the State of Forest Report 2021, 9.23 per cent of the state's area has forest cover. In 2013, it was 8.82 per cent. The state government has now set a target to enhance this area to 15 per cent.
The drive will help sequester nearly 18.55 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.
B. Prabhakar, additional mission director, Vriksharopan Jan Andolan-2022, said in a statement that "Uttar Pradesh will be planting 175 crore saplings in the next five years. This will result in sequestration of 72 million tonnes of carbon dioxide thus achieving nearly 80 per cent of UP's carbon sequestration target aimed till 2030."
Under the plantation drive different types of forests including Amrut Van, Shakti Van, Bal Van, Yuva Van, Nagar Van and food forests will be developed to connect people with forests and motivate them to protect greenery.
"We as individuals can also plant a sapling and take care of it until it grows. This will be our own contribution towards the environment for improving oxygen level," said Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary-general, Association of International Doctors.