Edappadi K Palaniswam.
CHENNAI: Stressing the importance of ecology, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami urged people to nurture green cover in the State and make planting saplings a mass movement similar to the rainwater harvesting initiated by former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
While assuring steps to prevent the pollution of rivers and conserve the water resources, Mr. Palaniswami pointed out that late CM Jayalalithaa had launched a massive tree planting campaign to spread the green cover.
"The AIADMK government has planted over 4 crore trees and is maintaining them. Steps are on to raise trees to prevent the soil erosion on the Cauvery bed. Also efforts are being taken to prevent environment pollution," Mr Palaniswami said on Sunday.
He was addressing the Cauvery Calling rally organised by the Isha Foundation at the Madras University Centenary auditorium here. The CM who advocated spreading green cover in TN called upon the people to strive in a united way to plant more saplings.
The Chief Minister said ozone is preserved because of the presence of trees and the water resources too increased. Pointing to various initiatives of his government in conserving the environment, he said that 2 lakh palm saplings were planted in Tamil Nadu every year and 2.50 crore palm seeds were planted during the current fiscal.
He said the Sadhguru had "planted the maximum number of trees in the entire nation" and assured his government’s full support for Cauvery Calling. Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said population explosion and climatic change took a heavy toll on green cover. Lauding the Sadhguru for his efforts to conserve ecology, he said the need of the hour is to raise the green cover.
Referring to Sadhguru as the ‘Father of Cauvery Calling’, Mr Panneerselvam said Cauvery’s revival is vital for farmers’ livelihood. "History will accord a special place for Sadhguru for leading this initiative," he said joining the Chief Minister in supporting the movement.
Lauding the initiative, Governor Banwarilal Purhoit said that a job "well begun is half done." He said the Chief Minister had formed a 16-member committee for Cauvery. "The entire government is with you. It is bound to be a success. I wish all success to Isha Foundation," the Governor said.
Earlier, the Cauvery Calling arrived to a rousing reception here late afternoon journeying from Puducherry where Lt. Governor Dr. Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V. Narayanasami pledged their support to the movement. As the motorcycle cavalcade led by Sadhguru, founder, Isha Foundation, made its way to its penultimate stop, people thronged the street to welcome Cauvery Calling to the State capital.
Senthil Ganesh, a folk singer, rendered soulful melodies. Students of Isha Samskriti also performed at the venue. Actress Suhasini Maniratnam, Tamil Manilaa Congress president G.K. Vasan and Chairman of Apollo Group of Hospitals Dr. Prathap Reddy also pledged their support to Cauvery Calling. Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden who earlier played for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League sent a message of support for Cauvery Calling.
Spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev spoke about the importance of offering an economic opportunity to farmers that will encourage them to keep the soil rich and wet, two critical conditions for a river to flow perennially. "Only the farmer has the land," he said and added that a farmer will adopt a solution only if it is economically viable.