State's green cover has shrunk by 15%: CM

Last Updated 05 June 2016, 20:22 IST

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said Karnataka had lost almost 15% of its forest and tree cover over the years and only 20% of the geographical area might be covered with greenery.

He was speaking at the Environment Awards distribution ceremony on World Environment Day hosted by the Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment, and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, in the city on Sunday.

Underlining the importance of environment protection, Siddaramaiah urged the people of the state to plant two saplings each this year as responsible citizens.

“If each of the one crore people in Bengaluru plants two saplings this year, the city will see an additional two crore trees in the future. And, this will help all of us in many ways, including better health,” he said.

Two crore saplings
The chief minister said the government had allocated special grants in the budget for the purpose of planting eight crore saplings this year. In the first week of July, two crore saplings will be planted across Karnataka, he noted.

Siddaramaiah said many districts in the state, including Mysuru and Bengaluru, had reported temperatures hovering around 40 degrees Celsius during summer this year, and the seasons, too, were no more the same. He said the 837 lakes in Bengaluru were encroached upon, while in the earlier days, people voluntarily offered their land for building schools, hospitals and to develop water bodies.

The chief minister also distributed the Karnataka Environment Awards. The awardees are: Anand Kumar, a teacher who planted a number of saplings in 45 schools in Chikkaballapur over the last 20 years; Lingaraja V Niduvani, a resident of Karewada in Hubballi taluk, who planted a variety of plant species, including medicinal ones, in Dharwad district; Dr Chandra, ayurvedic doctor in government hospital, Mysuru, credited with planting more than 2,000 saplings in his home district; Bengaluru-based NGO, Hasiru Dala, which has set up 33 dry waste centres in the city; the Kali Tiger Reserve, and the Huligi grama panchayat, Koppal, which has successfully implemented the Swachh Bharat mission.
DH News Service

(Published 05 June 2016, 20:22 IST)

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