Bhubaneswar, Aug 21
The state government has directed the district collectors to complete plantation work in around 22,000 hectares of land between August 30 and September 15 as part of a massive horticultural plantation programme under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
During a videoconferencing at the state secretariat here on Tuesday, chief secretary JK Mohapatra asked the collectors to expedite the matters relating to availability of funds for plantation and complete the target by the end of current planting season.
It was revealed that of the 22,000 hectares of land for plantation in all the 30 districts identified by the respective district administrations and horticultural offices, plantation has so far been completed in about 11,000 hectares of land.
Against the targeted plantation in 21,991 hectares of land, sanction has been made for 18,482 hectares. The project cost is estimated at Rs 391.75 crore.
The review also revealed that out of 1123 hectares of land in Kandhamal district, plantation has been completed in 430 hectares. In Kendrapada district, plantation has been completed only in 60 hectares against a target of 182 hectares while plantation in 692 hectares against a target of 1,197 hectares has been completed in Keonjhar district. Besides, plantationwork has been completed in 199 hectares in Khordha, 820 hectares in Koraput, 2868 hectares in Mayurbhanj and 300 hectares in Malkangiri district.
To generate man-days, MGNREGS envisages that horticultural plantation of saplings including mango, litchi, orange, cashew etc can be carried out in government and private lands.
Among others, agriculture secretary Rajesh Verma, forest and environment secretary RK Sharma, Director, horticulture Sanjeev Chadha and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Priyanath Padhi were present.