State govt proposes two separate policies to restore green cover
Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government will come up with two separate policies for restoration and augmentation of the green cover in the state that has witnessed massive destruction due to the cyclonic storm Amphan that hit the state on May 20. One of the policy that will be formulated will be for urban areas while the second one will be for rural Bengal which will go right upto the gram panchayat level.
"We have formed a committee that comprise of officials from Environment, Forest, Kolkata Municipal Corporation and experts who work in the area of greenery who will come up with a urban tree policy. They will submit a report within a few days containing details of the trees that can be planted in open space, medians, road side and other places in the city which can survive storms and accordingly we will procure trees from the nursery of the Forest department and start plantation.
The programme will kick off from June 5 that marks the World Environment Day," said Firhad Hakim, Chairman of the Board of Administrators of KMC .
A high level meeting was held at KMC on Saturday with officials from Forest, Environment and other stakeholders to work out a scientific plantation plan. "As per our assessment greenery spanning across an area of 1,600 square metres and 1.6 lakh hectare land has been damaged by Amphan. Preliminary survey has marked 16 lakh trees that have been uprooted in different
districts," said Rajib Banerjee, state Forest minister. 15,500 trees have been uprooted in Kolkata itself.
Principal Secretary of state Environment department Vivek Kumar said that they have come up with a concept paper and have specified the types of trees that can be planted in road medians, in avenues, by the roadside, in open spaces inside Rabindra Sarobar etc. 120 species of trees have been identified for this purpose.
"The paper has been prepared after studying the nature of trees that have been uprooted and those that have survived Amphan," Kumar said. State Forest, Environment and KMC's Parks & Squares wing will plant saplings on the roads earmarked for each of them. Chairman of state Pollution Control Board Kalyan Rudra stressed on the priority for taking up plantation on a war footing as the air quality index in the city shoots up from mid October. He expressed his concern of AQI deteriorating further with massive damage to green
cover. Rudra said that mangrove cover in four islands of Sunderbans like Sagar, Namkhana- Fraserganj , Mousuni and G Plot have been badly destroyed.
"We will have to work for creating a mangrove wall in these islands," he added.