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SHILLONG: With the objective to take forward the Green Economy concept of the State Government in a more aggressive manner, a state-wide Mass Bamboo Plantation was launched by Agriculture & Horticulture departments with the involvement of all the Village Employment Councils (VECs) in all the C&RD blocks and the district administrations across the State on Monday.
Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma kicked off the bamboo plantation at Betasing C&RD block in South West Garo Hills and also planted bamboo saplings in the presence of Parliamentary Secretary in-charge Home, etc W.D. Sangma, local MDCs Nripendra Koch and Stevie M. Marak, Director, Agriculture Dorothy Syiemiong, Deputy Commissioner, South West Garo Hills, C.V.D.Diengdoh, Superintendent of Police, Ramesh Singh, officials of Agriculture and Horticulture departments and other district officials on Monday morning. He also made a token distribution of bamboo saplings to selected farmers on the occasion. Including bamboo varieties like Dendrocalamus Giganteus and Dendrocalamus Asper.
Expressing alarm over the abnormal climatic condition, erratic and scanty rainfall in the past few weeks, the Chief Minister said that there is a need to recharge our catchment areas through plantation of Bamboo and remunerative plants like Agar, Ramie, Black pepper and others. He urged upon the Horticulture and Agriculture departments to create programmes that are more remunerative to farmers and help in recreating biodiversity as well and also to look at the barren lands in the area for plantation of pulses. "There is a need to create resilient livelihood opportunities so that our people do not suffer during the times of crisis brought by climatic change", he added.
As part of the Mission Green, he said the bamboo plantation should also be done along the roads and that maintenance of different stretches of the roads should be given to communities, schools, clubs, etc, "because only when communities are involved, the forests that we create can be sustained", he added.
Stating that there are over five lakh job card holders in the State under MGNREGS, the Chief Minister was of the view that if all these families were involved in the plantation they could be able to create an aggregated impact. In South West Garo Hills 75,000 bamboo saplings and in Selsella block 15,200 saplings were distributed for plantation as part of this mass bamboo plantation programme.