Hyderabad: As per the National Forest policy, a state should have 33 per cent of tree cover. However, Telangana has 25.16 per cent green cover. Andhra Pradesh fares worse with only 22.62 per cent.
Both states need at least three years to achieve 33 per cent if hundreds of crores saplings are planted and the plants survive, stated experts.
In undivided AP, the total forest area was 64,000 sq. km — 23.20 per cent. Following bifurcation, TS got 36,917 sq. km of forest while AP got 27,083 sq. km.
Dr K.P. Srivasuki, IFS, director-general of Centre for Forest and Natural Resource Management Studies (CEFNARM), said, “In three years, 230 crore saplings will be planted in TS, out of which 100 crore plants are allocated for forest areas, 125 crore for rural area and 5 crore for urban area. Yearly allocation of Rs 800 crore has been made for the next 3 years.”
“That apart, on World Forest Day (March 21) Pragati Foundation, in association with Greater Hyderabad Resident Welfare Association, will start the Herbal Urban Forestry Program,” he said.
Dr G.B.K. Rao, chairman and managing director of Pragati Group said, “The aim is to plant sacred herbal saplings at various avenues and urban pockets to provide a pollution free, mosquito free, disease free, virus free, bad bacteria free life to the citizens of Hyderabad and even reduce the temperatures in the Twin Cities. In Pragati Bio-diversity Knowledge Park near Chilkur Balaji temple at Proddutur village under Shanakarpally Mandal, herbal saplings have been planted across 2500 acre.”
Major Shiv Kiran, resident of Methodist Colony, Begumpet said, “On March 22, at Neem Park, herbal plantation and development of rain water harvesting pits would be taken up. The Greater Hyderabad United RWA will spread the word to all interested colonies.”
The programme will include sharing expertise on planting herbal plants at road meridians, avenues, parks, junctions and urban pockets. Water conservation through development of rainwater harvesting pits will also be discussed....