Ten days after Uttar Pradesh (UP) created a world record by planting 22 crore saplings in a single day, ten districts of the state have mooted a similar initiative along the banks of the Ganga and Gomti rivers by the August end.
Bhawani Singh, the District Magistrate of Ballia, said, “We have long banks of the Ganga that could be the ideal place for the plantation drive. I have asked forest department officials to prepare a plan for a drive that could be organised by August-end or mid-September.”
Officials said that planting trees along the banks of major rivers would help in checking large-scale soil erosion, known as ‘kataan’ in local parlance.
Similar plans are also being made in other districts, including Ghazipur, Chandauli, Gonda, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Jaunpur and Amethi.
Officials in Ghazipur are planning the drive in two parts. They will cover a 10-km stretch of the river on both sides in each phase.
In Mirzapur, the administration is planning to adopt the technique of seed bombs used in Sultanpur for the drive.
Seed bomb or seed ball refers to a dried ball made of two parts soil mixed with one part fertilizer that contains a dry seed. The ball protects the seed and helps it to germinate under favourable conditions.
In Sultanpur, the district administration had dropped 14 lakh seed bombs along the banks of the Gomti last week.
Uttar Pradesh Environment Minister Dara Singh Chauhan, who commended the drive held in Sultanpur, said his ministry would extend all possible help to the districts to make the project successful.
“These plantation drives will give new life to our rivers and also help check soil erosion. All such efforts must be appreciated and supported,” the minister said.