Chandigarh, February 18
a target for plantation of one million trees during the current year, UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Retd) today launched an afforestation programme, planting a sapling of Krishan peepal and releasing Green Chandigarh Action Plan-2008 at an impressive function in the foothills of the Shivaliks here today.

Besides planting one million saplings in the UT, 25,000 saplings of shrubs will be distributed free by the forest department. Distribution of as many as 15, 000 saplings of ornamental, flowering and fruit trees by the horticulture wing, plantation drives in schools, colleges, residential colonies, villages and hospitals, herbal gardens and protection of existing trees and replacement of dying diseased trees forms part of the green plan.

General Rodrigues talked of the need for a partnership with the people to check environmental degradation and to ensure sustainable and equitable development.

He said the Chandigarh administration had launched over 200 programmes to strengthen development infrastructure and for improving the quality of life of its people, supported with an effective monitoring system to avoid slippage.

This process of fast growth and socio-economic development demanded people's active participation. He said the administration and the public must work together to achieve the goals.

General Rodrigues said a world-class aquarium was being set up near the Sukhna lake as part of the strategy to add eco-friendly features in the Sukhna catchment area.

He asked the teachers and students to build a mass movement and to take a leadership role in planning, implementation and monitoring of these programmes on their own initiative for which the administration would provide help and support to facilitate the process.

General Rodrigues said Chandigarh had a green cover in 35.6 per cent of its total area and there was need for further expanding “our endeavour and scope for making the city more green.

Pradip Mehra, adviser to the Administrator, emphasised on the need for increasing forest area and undertaking massive plantation on un-utilised and left-out patches.

He underlined the role of educational institutions in generating awareness for this campaign.

n UT to plant 1 million saplings
25,000 to be distributed free
n Special drives in schools

Source: Tribune News Service