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This is an electronic documentation of news and features  on various environment and wildlife issues, appearing in English news dailies in India.
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Preeti Kashyap


Monday, July 5, 2021
Retired Conservator of Forests drives plantation of 50 lakh saplings in Odisha's Mayurbhanj
Correspondent :
BHUBANESWAR: A former PCCF (Wildlife) Ajay Mahapatra is on a mission to improve the green cover of Mayurbhanj’s elephant corridor. Concerned over the depleting greenery, he has roped in three private agencies to launch a massive plantation drive in the district this month.

Mahapatra is guiding three organisations - Life Academy of Vocational Studies (LAVS), Mumbai-based Grow Trees and Impact Guru - to plant 50 lakh trees in the district. The saplings will be planted by them in 52 villages of Bisoi and Samakhunta blocks from this week. And the number of saplings is almost double of what the Forest department has planned in Mayurbhanj district for the ongoing Van Mahotsav Week, which is 26 lakh saplings.

“LAVS will plant 30 lakh saplings, while the Impact Guru will plant 20 lakh more saplings in the district which I guess is a record of sorts,” Mahapatra said. Grow Trees will look after funding the plantation drive.

He added that instead of planting the saplings in a scattered manner across the district, they decided to do it in a large scale in only two blocks to create a green corridor along Mayurbhanj and adjoining the Jharkhand border for smooth movement of elephants. “I had been pursuing with these agencies to initiate a consolidated action that can be replicated in other parts of the State. I hope that it will turn out to be a huge success,” he said.

Mahapatra said the USP of the programme is the low-cost plantation, only Rs 25 is being spent towards planting each sapling against the departmental rate of Rs 85. Besides, villagers of the two blocks will take responsibility for maintaining the saplings.

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