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Himanta bats for joint efforts to increase forest cover


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Guwahati, June 8: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday called for collective action to increase forest cover in the state and generate sustainable economic opportunities.

Speaking at the “Amrit” plantation programme launched at Chandubi in Kamrup district, the chief minister said that stakeholders can contribute towards creating a conducive climate for generating sustainable economic opportunities.

“Around 20 percent of the forest land in Assam is under encroachment and an adverse effect of it is being faced by all. People are destroying hills to construct their dwelling houses,” Sarma said.

“At the same time with the increase of the use of fossil fuels, global warming has become an alarming proposition,” he said.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who announced LiFE, to bring individual behaviour at the forefront of the global climate action narrative, the chief minister appealed to the people at large to contribute to cut carbon emissions.

Stating the Prime Minister’s call to cut carbon emission to zero by 2070, Sarma said that the Assam government in response to this call has been taking steps for generation of 5000 MW solar power in the state.

Spelling out the steps taken for the preservation of forest land in the state, he said eviction drives have been launched in the past two years in Lumding reserve forest, Pabho reserve forest, Burachapori wildlife sanctuary, Orang National Park and land measuring 61375 bigha has been freed from encroachments.

“The state government is working to increase the total forest cover from the existing 36 per cent to 38 per cent. Concerted efforts will be made across the year to plant more saplings, save trees and protect the forest from being encroached upon,” the chief minister said.

He also announced that on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 this year, the state government would plant one crore saplings. “Everyone who participates on the occasion will get Rs 100 as a token of gratitude to look after the saplings planted on the occasion,” he said.

“After three years, if the plant survives, the person will get another Rs 200,” he added.

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