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Drive to plant more than 11L saplings

Drive to plant more than 11L saplings
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Kolkata: The state Food Processing & Horticulture department has decided to undertake massive plantation of mango in the state by planting more than 11 lakh saplings in this monsoon season. The department has already procured bulk of the saplings which will predominantly be of the Amrapali variety.

"We have identified land in Paschimanchal as well as in North Bengal and made plans to set up orchards in these lands. The main purpose is to enhance the income of the farmers," said Subrata Gupta, Principal Secretary of state Food Processing & Horticulture department. The move is an integral part of the Matir Shristi scheme announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in May. There are 400 varieties of mango that are grown in the state among which 10 to 15 species are commercially cultivated. In the last two years the Amrapali variety of mango cultivated in Bankura have been exported to countries of Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has floated tender for engagement of an agency for plantation of 10,000 seedlings of different varieties for augmenting the green cover in the state that has suffered massive damage due to the severe cyclonic storm Amphan that hit the state on May 20.

"The agency will be responsible for plantation, requisite fencing for protection of the trees, watering and maintenance of the trees. Salt Lake and VIP Road that connects Hudco crossing in Ultadanga to Dum Dum airport has been selected for plantation," said a senior official of WBPCB.

The PCB has set a target of finishing the plantation drive by July.

"The agency selected will have to take responsibility of planting reasonably mature plants along with the tree guard and will have to carry out maintenance of the trees for two years," added the official.

Member Secretary WBPCB Rajesh Kumar said that the Board has consulted experts who have given suggestions on how to proceed with the plantation drive scientifically. PCB has selected 24 mainly indigenous and fruit-bearing varieties for road-side plantation that includes neem, bakul, haritaki, amloki, sishoo, chhatim, ashok, kath badam, rudra palash, aswattha, arjun etc.

The five varieties that have been selected for the road dividers are shrubs like — kamini, jaba, gulancha, karabi and rangan.

Chairman of state Pollution Control Board Kalyan Rudra has recently stressed upon tree plantation on a war footing as the air quality index in the city shoots up from mid October.

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