Lucknow : Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his parliamentarian wife Dimple Yadav will take active part in the mega plantation drive, under which the state government plans to plant five crore saplings across the state tomorrow to set a Guinness World Record. The iniative also gives boost to the UP government's 'Clean UP, Green UP' Mission. While Mulayam Singh Yadav will plant saplings at Kukrail forest reserve in the state capital, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will plant saplings at Rasoolabad in Kanpur Dehat district and his wife Dimple at Kannauj in plantation programmes organised by the Forest department. Principal Secretary (Forest) Sanjeev Saran told here today that the plantation would be carried out at 6,166 sites in the state and the polygons of these sites had already been uploaded. He said after the plantation, the photographs of the sites would also be uploaded on the website and then put in the public domain. Seven crore saplings have been raised in 950 nurseries and these are currently being transported to the various sites. “When the data is put in the public domain, anyone can see on the computer the plantation sites, the species planted, and the condition of the plants even after five years,” he added. Mr Saran said the Guinness record auditors had already reached the sites. “The audit will be done by a third agency which has involved teachers, students and non-governmental organisations in this exercise. We want to make this exercise completely transparent,” he added. The principal secretary said the plantation would being done on mostly government land — forest land, government land and degraded forest land. “We have not gone in for private lands. At Kukrail forest reserve, the saplings will be planted in the area which has been freed from encroachments,” he added.
Mr Saran said for the first time, the government had roped in TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) for carrying out carbon sequestration connected with the exercise. Under it, the TERI will measure the carbon units absorbed because of the plantation and these can be used for getting carbon credits in future in areas of trade. The plantations will begin at 1000 hrs in the morning and continue for the next 24 hours. The recent Forest Survey Report released by the Government of India shows a 261 square km increase in forest and tree covers in Uttar Pradesh. The report attributes this increase in forest and plant covers to better plantation and better protection of the plants. Over 80 species will be planted. They include mango, tamarind, mahua, pakad, neem, bargad and peepal. Approximately 20 crore saplings had been planted between 2012-2015 in the state these include over 15 crore which had been planted by the Forest Department and five crore which had been planted by the other departments.