Haritha Haram: An emerald that changed landscape of Telangana

An emerald that changed landscape of Telangana
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An emerald that changed landscape of Telangana

Highlights

According to the latest Forest Survey of India (FSI) report, Haritha Haram in Telangana has helped increase the forest cover and green cover in the State

According to the latest Forest Survey of India (FSI) report, Haritha Haram in Telangana has helped increase the forest cover and green cover in the State. According to the report, the Recorded Forest Area (RFA) in the State is 26,904 square kilometers of Forest land of which, 20,353 square kilometers is Reserved Forest, 5,939 square kilometers is Protected Forest and 612 square kilometers is Unclassed Forests.

The report says that, three national parks and nine wildlife sanctuaries constitute the protected area network of the State covering 5.08% of its geographical area. In terms of forest canopy density classes, the State has 1,608.24 square kilometers under Very Dense Forest (VDF), 8,787.13 square kilometers under Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) and 10,186.94 square kilometers under Open Forest (OF). Main reasons for the increase in forest cover in the State is due to Telangana ku Haritha Haram.

As a practical example of the Sanskrit adage Krushito Naasti Durbhiksham, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has himself thrown up challenge in the form of an innovative programme, 'Telangana ku Haritha Haram'. The one and only objective of this unprecedented successful programme is to increase the green and forest cover from 24% to 33% in the Telangana State with people's participation or in other words, the active support of all sections of people.

There are umpteen valid reasons for taking up this ambitious programme on a grand scale. The Forest land in Telangana State is spread over 26,903.70 square kilometers of the total geographical area of 1,12,101 square kilometers, which accounts for 24% of the total geographical area in the State. To increase the green cover, the Telangana government has launched the flagship programme 'Telangana ku Haritha Haram' during 2015-16.

The agenda was to plant 120 crore seedlings outside the forest area and 10 crore seedlings in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) areas in four years from 2015-16 to 2018-19 and planting and developing of 100 crore saplings inside the notified forests in four years from 2015-16 to 2018-19.

The aim is also to achieve 20 crore seedlings through taking plantations in the degraded forests through Artificial Regeneration Method (AR method). Remaining 80 crores seedlings targets are to be achieved through Rejuvenation of Degraded Forest through Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR).

As against a target of 20 crores seedlings under the category of inside Forests Planting, the actual achievement year wise since 2015-16 till the current year, respectively has been: 2.933, 3.933. 3.939. 2.898. 3.537 and 2.039 crores, with a cumulative total of 19.339 crore seedlings.

As against a target of 80 crores seedlings under the category of Inside Forests Planting and Rejuvenation, the actual achievement year wise since 2017-18 till 2019-20, respectively has been: 25.970, 4.570 and 4.727 crores, with a cumulative total of 35.267 crore seedlings.

As against a target of 120 crores seedlings under the category of Out-side Forests Planting, the actual achievement year wise since 2015-16 till the current year, respectively has been: 12.667, 25.862, 28.469, 27.777, 33.043 and 13.472 crores, with a cumulative total of 141.290 crore seedlings.

As against a target of 3 crores seedlings under the category of GHMC Planting, the actual achievement year wise since 2015-16 till the current year, respectively has been: 0.001, 0.849, 0.768, 0.431, 0.717 and 1.957 crores, with a cumulative total of 4.723 crore seedlings.

As against a target of 7 crores seedlings under the category of HMDA Planting, the actual achievement year wise since 2015-16 till the current year, respectively has been: 0.260, 0.970, 0.903, 0.876, 0.881 and 2.339 crores, with a cumulative total of 6.229 crore seedlings.

Cumulatively, as against a target of 230 crores seedlings under all categories, the actual year-wise achievement has been since 2015-16 till the current year, respectively, 15.861, 31.674, 60.049, 36.552, 42.905 and 26.242 crores, with a cumulative total of 213.283 crores seedlings.

The other achievements included, avenue plantations raised about 10,000 kms, 76 forest urban parks created, 59 Forest urban parks being developed in HMDA limits, 6837 Palle Prakriti Vanalu were set up in each Gram Panchayat till date, Pattana Pragathi Vanalu or Yadadri model plantation done in each ULBs nurseries established in all 12751 Gram Panchayats and 143 Urban Local Bodies.

Totally 13,721 number of nurseries are established. Monkey food courts are raised about in 4,500 acres in Peddapally, Jangaon, Mulugu, Nirmal, Wanaparthy, Vikarabad, Kamareddy and Jagtial districts. The seedlings planted outside forests areas include the planting in roadside avenues, barren hills, river and canal banks, tank bunds and foreshore areas, institutional premises, religious places, housing colonies, farm bunds, community lands, municipalities, industrial parks etc. by various departments viz., Forest, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, Excise, Education, Municipal Administration, GHMC, HMDA etc.

A lot of emphasis is given to plantation of fruit bearing plants, flowering plants etc., in and around house premises duly involving the households in the villages. The high-quality fruit bearing grafted plants raised by Horticulture Department are being supplied by Forest Department to the household owners/beneficiaries on free of cost. Apart from the fruit bearing plants, the household owners are also being supplied ornamental plants. The planted seedlings are being maintained by providing tree guards, watering and protection etc., wherever required.

Latest technology is being used to monitor the seedling planted through geotagging. Green Brigades and Haritha Rakshana Committee have been constituted at various levels to ensure participation of the citizens in the programme and to make it a big public movement. So, far 30,902 Green Brigade teams have been formed to protect the plants.

In order to involve the maximum population and stakeholders in the programme, publicity campaigns are being taken up through various media like print media, TV and radio channels, pasting posters on RTC buses plying through the State of Telangana and at prominent places.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, Rajya Sabha member Joginapally Santosh Kumar planted a sapling in Shameerpet in Medchel Mandal in Malkajgiri district.

Santosh's Green India Challenge concept had evoked an unprecedented response from across the world including the Chief Ministers, Union Ministers, MPs, MLAs, film and sports and other eminent personalities as well as common citizens. Santosh's Green Challenge became viral on the social media and it became a movement all over the country and in some parts of the world. Santosh's should be congratulated for kicking up the awareness on greenery overnight and his challenge had attained the cult status.

(The author is Chief PRO to the Chief Minister of Telangana. Views expressed are personal. Inputs from VJM Divakar)

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