Minister of Finance and Planning and Forests departments in the Government of Maharashtra Sudhir Mungantiwar on Wednesday said that Ministry of Forest is set to achieve its target of planting 13 crore saplings in July. He also said that around two crore trees would be planted in Nagpur alone in the year 2018. The Cabinet Minister also assured that an academy to fight and tackle forest fires is soon going to be established in the state. Mungantiwar, while addressing a press conference at Vanamati in Nagpur, said that the academy would be online by December 25, 2018.
The Minister said that he aimed at involving every citizen in the tree plantation initiative. He revealed that a toll free number 1926 has been started under the initiative ‘Hello Forest,’ where people can enquire about various programmes and information regarding forests.
Mungantiwar, when asked about the loss of trees while constructing roads, said, “Roads have to be developed but protection of trees is equally important. The ministry is taking efforts to balance both, infrastructure and forest growth.”
The minister also announced new plans and initiatives to increase the forest cover of the state. He said that the ideal forest cover of any state should be 33% but Maharashtra stands at only 20%. He assured that educational institutions of Maharashtra are also being taken into consideration for promoting and preserving tree plantation.”