Why hasn't years of tree plantation increased forest cover, asks CM

Why hasn't years of tree plantation increased forest cover, asks CM

Why hasn't years of tree plantation increased forest cover, asks CM

It was a moment of truth for the state government on World Environment Day as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asked how the forest cover has remained same, though the forest department plants crores of saplings every year.

Siddaramaiah was speaking minutes after Forest Minister Ramanath Rai announced that the department was planting six crore saplings to mark World Environment Day.

“For several years now, the forest cover in Karnataka has remained at 20%. What happened to the eight crore saplings planted last year? What about the six crore being planted this year? Every year, we plant crores of plants, why are they not increasing the green cover,” he asked and turned at forest officials on the dais, who smiled sheepishly. Rai remained silent.

The chief minister said one school in each revenue district will be adopted to create green consciousness among children. “Our health and our future is dependent on the environment and we need to educate children regarding this,” he said.

Noting that the government can’t do “everything” to save the environment, he said besides blaming the government, people should ask whether they are doing their part. “We have been asking people to segregate waste for years. But till today, most of them don’t do it. We need to realise that we all are individually responsible for the conservation of the environment,” he said.

Rai said the forest department will develop 50 tree parks in forest land in the city. “We have plans to boost lake and forest conservation activities through corporate social responsibility initiatives,” he said.

He said the parks will be named after Salumarada Thimmakka and will act as lung spaces in the urban environment.
On the occasion, three individuals and three organisations were given Karnataka Environment Award. C T Puttaswamy, M B Nayka, C D Patil each received Rs 1 lakh cash besides a citation. Anneshwara Gram Panchayat, Nagarahole Tiger Conservation Foundation and Kalaburagi City Corporation received the award in the organisations category for their contribution to the environment.
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