'Mega Tree Plantation Festival' launched in Meghalaya

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today launched the 'Mega Tree Plantation Festival' aimed at planting over seven lakh trees in a day in East Khasi Hills district alone.

Addressing the occasion, Sangma said the 'Chief Minister's Youth for Green Campaign' was launched in 2012 with the aim of involving the youth force in conserving and protecting the environment particularly the forest areas.

A new campaign, 'Mission Green', has a broad spectrum of approach for environment protection as it involved community participation, he said.

Sangma urged the village community to enhance green cover within the village by planting trees in empty spaces, barren lands and school compounds.

About 22,000 saplings of indigenous species like champa, eucalyptus, neem, pine, silver oak, pooma, hollock and alder were planted in Mawphlang block in the district as part of the 'Mega Tree Plantation Festival' under the Mission Green campaign.

In 'Mission Green', efforts would be made to preserve and protect the environment while at the same time promote organic farming, the chief minister said.

About 20,000 hectare of land has been identified for 2014-15 to undertake organic farming exclusively, Sangma said adding this would cultivate the habit of consuming healthy organic food.

"Whatever our activities are, we should ensure that it does not have any adverse effect on the environment. Even farming nowadays is harmful not only to the environment but also to the people as pesticides, insecticides and un-natural fertilizers are used for better yield, but these foods cause health problems," he said.

A senior horticulture officer said the state government allocated Rs 15 crore for 'mission organic' apart from the Rs 100 crore the state would get from the Centre.