Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday said besides planting more and more saplings, the people should also take a pledge to preserve and protect them.The state government has started the Darshan Lal Jain Environment Award for those who love trees and preserve the environment and in future the scope of the award will be expanded.
While addressing the 73rd state-level Van Mahotsava in Kurukshetra, Khattar said in 1950 the Van Mahotsava or Forest Festival was initiated by Kanaiyalal Maneklal and it's a matter of pride that today "we are celebrating the 73rd Van Mahotsava".
"This year two crore saplings will be planted. At present, the forest area of Haryana is 7.14 per cent. To increase it by 20 per cent, it is important to plant more and more trees and it is the responsibility of all of everyone to increase the green cover," the Chief Minister.
He said the government has also started a scheme to provide compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre for the farmers for planting one acre of orchards for three years.The Chief Minister said a plan has been made to plant medicinal plants in 50,000 acres of Morni area with the help of Patanjali Yog Peeth.
The farmers there will get benefit from this scheme.The Chief Minister said in a bid to express gratitude towards the trees which are above 75 years of age, Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme (PVDPS) has been started by the government.
Under this scheme, a pension amount of Rs 2,500 per year per tree has been fixed for the maintenance of trees above the age of 75 years. It will also be increased every year on the similar lines of Old Age Samman Allowance Scheme. The Forest Research Institute will evaluate the age of such trees.