Haritha plants wilt as Sarpanches have no funds to water them

Haritha plants wilt as Sarpanches have no funds to water them
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As the Gram Panchayats were unable to provide water to the saplings planted under Haritha Haram programme regularly, the objective of it is getting defeated.

Hyderabad: As the Gram Panchayats were unable to provide water to the saplings planted under Haritha Haram programme regularly, the objective of it is getting defeated.

The Haritha Haram programme was taken up in the State in the monsoon season with much fanfare. As Gram Panchayats are been made partner for the success of the programme, the GPs were told to plant about 40,000 saplings and take care of their growth properly.

The sarpanches were given the responsibility of the protection of the plants. They were told to provide water to the plants regularly and to bear the expenditure from the GP's accounts.

The plantation drive was supported by the NREGS funds. Nurseries were grown in each Gram Panchayat with the help of the Forest department and saplings were planted in the vacant lands.

However, as soon as the monsoon season ended the survival of the plants become a question. About 30 per cent of the plants have died in the past one month's time.

The reason is that the GPs have not been providing water for their survival. The sarpanches have given up providing water to the plants because of lack of funds.

As the bills for the water purchased by them have not been paid they have been shying away from providing water to the plants.

Several sarpanches said that they have been given Rs 600 per tanker by the government. They have paid the amounts to the tanker owners from their pockets till October. But the bills are not paid so far.

They informed that the rate of one tanker is Rs 1,000 and they were unable to pay the amounts as the government did not pay the amounts.

The issue has been taken to the notice of the government.

Meanwhile, the officials of the Rural Development department have begun to examine the issue. They have been studying the rate of survival of the plants being planted in Haritha Haram programme.

Rural Development department commissioner Raghunandan Rao has reviewed the situation and directed the district Collectors to take steps for the survival of the plants planted under Haritha Haram programme.

He told the Collectors to see that new saplings are planted in the place of the dead ones. He told the Forest department officials to take up a special drive to ensure survival of the plants.

The Commissioner instructed the officials to take steps to provide water to plants from February as the summer season would begin from that month. A special action plan should be prepared for it.

But the sarpanches have said that unless government pays the bills and raises the rates of the amounts to be paid to the tankers, it would not be possible for them to take care of the plants.

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