CM toys idea of planting orchard in state assembly, use revenue from its fruit for maintenance
Ranchi, July 19: Chief minister Hemant Soren on Monday mooted the idea of using the sprawling Jharkhand Assembly premises to grow an orchard of fruit-bearing trees, urging officials to think out of the box to promote greenery in Ranchi. The chief minister also toyed with the idea of gifting saplings instead of floral bouquets during greetings.
Speaking on the occasion of the state’s 72nd Van Mahotsav on the premises of the new Jharkhand Assembly, Hemant said, “The assembly is spread across 50-60 acres. I suggest the Assembly Speaker consider developing the area as an orchard. The Assembly can generate its own resources just by selling those fruits and taking up innovative farming activities on campus. If it can be done, ours could be the first assembly in the country to become self-sufficient in generating its own resources for maintenance of the huge infrastructure.”
Assembly speaker Rabindranath Mahto, rural development minister Alamgir Alam, agriculture minister Badal Patralekh, several MLAs and officials of the forest and other departments were also present on the occasion. All of them planted saplings too.
Reiterating the need to commit oneself for the sake of ecology, Hemant said that although the government held plantation drives every year and ran several schemes, the need of the hour was for individuals to take responsibility. “Each one should plant one tree and take care of it. That should be the mantra. We should also pick up the habit of distributing saplings instead of floral bouquets during greeting and ensure that the saplings are planted and nurtured,” said Soren.
“Today, old trees get uprooted in the name of building infrastructure and development. But to balance it, we must ensure that we take up plantation as an individual responsibility. If we plant one fruit tree today, it will take care of generations to come,” he said.
Lauding the idea, Speaker Mahto maintained that trees weren’t merely for providing oxygen. They also help strengthen our rural economy. “I remember that in my constituency (Nala), a few years back, a group of villagers planted trees on a barren chunk of land. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they were able to sell the timber from it,” he said.
The state forest department launched this year’s van mahotsav on July 13 and set a target of planting 1.67 crore saplings. In Ranchi, over a lakh saplings will be planted. At the launch ceremony, Hemant had directed the forest department to roll out plantation drives on unused and vacant government land to boost the state’s green lungs and conserve local ecology.