Raipur: Over the past four years, Chhattisgarh has embarked on the “River Bank Tree Plantation” initiative, planting an impressive 4,676,729 saplings along the bank of 40 diverse rivers. This endeavor has revitalized 4,321 hectares of riverbank landscapes, enhancing their appeal with lush greenery, vibrant fruit-bearing trees, and colorful flowering plants, transforming these areas into visually pleasing spaces.
In consonance with chief minister Bhupesh Baghel vision, the work of plantation on river banks was carried out under the guidance of Forest and Climate Change Minister Mr. Mohammad Akbar by the forest department. The plantation has been carried out under the programme using CAMPA and departmental funds. The rivers covered during the last 04 years under this programme include Shivnath, Indravati, Phulakdei, Kendai, Lilagar, Mahanadi, Hasdeo, Agar, Meghanala, Jhinka, Kelo, Moran, Sondhur, Ib River, Pairi River, Tandula, Narangi, Banki, Galphula, Neur River, Kewai, Khatambar, Bhaisun, Chundi, Bhawai, Banas, Rampa, and Bhulu.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force V Srinivasa Rao informed that during the year 2019, 9 lahks 14 thousand saplings were planted in an 831-hectare area under this programme. Similarly, during the year 2020, 8 lakh 77 thousand saplings were planted in an 845-hectare area, 17 lakh 87 thousand saplings in 01 thousand 647 hectare area during the year 2021, and 11 lakh saplings were planted in a 999-hectare area during the year 2022.
The employment of 9.63 lakh human days has been created in the state through this plantation work. Along with this, the people of 372 nearby villages have directly benefited from works like farming and vegetable production under this programme. The farmers of nearby areas are also getting benefits in the agricultural work as crop production has increased with the reduction of soil erosion. Under this, the income of the villagers is also increasing with the plantation of fruit-bearing trees. Apart from this, the local villagers are also efficiently doing commercial vegetable production on the banks of the river.