Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 20:

In the wake of rapid increase of air pollution and rising temperature, Odisha government has decided to plant 1 lakh saplings in the state capital this fiscal.

A blueprint has been prepared for plantation of 1 lakh saplings across the city keeping the universities, colleges and schools under City Forest Division in focus for the project.

According to forest department sources, millions of trees have been cut down in the past five years for expansion of road in Odisha capital. Around 120-km road in the city has been afforested after expansion of road and few roads are yet to be covered.

The government has decided to gear up the tree plantation project in collaboration with various private organisations and corporate firms in different locations.

The saplings will be planted near roadside, vacant area of buildings, campus of educational institutions and government land.

The saplings will be planted by City Forest Division for which several organisations have been asked to identify the locations for the drive.

The government has asked OFDC, BDA, General Administration department, Higher Education department, School & Mass Education department, R&B Division, National Highway Authority, Soil Conservation office, Khurda district education officer, Horticulture department, Khurda district Sarva Siksha Abhiyan officer, Tehsildars, Imfa, Nalco, Tata Steel, IOCL and Jindal authorities to submit a detailed report in this regard.

Since the focus has been laid on the educational institutions, the project will be carried out in the Utkal University, Rama Devi Women’s University and colleges including Rajdhani college, BJP college, Deba Ray college and City Women’s college.