The Telangana CM requested the Union Minister for Environment to support his government's actions to increase the green cover in the state.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao today requested the Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Dr Harsh Vardhan to extend his support and cooperation for the activities being undertaken by the Telangana government to increase greenery in the state.
Vardhan had called on the CM at Pragathi bhavan this afternoon and congratulated him on his victory in the Telangana Assembly elections. On the occasion, the CM, along with officials, had a meeting with the Union Minister. The discussion was on a wide range of issues including plantation programs, forest conservation, forest rejuvenation, protection of wild animals and environment protection.
The Union Minister, who was briefed about the implementation of the various programs to enhance the green cover in the state including the Telanganaku Haritha Haram (THH), actions to protect the forests, efforts for forest rejuvenation, and development of social forestry among others, complimented the efforts of the state government.
Explaining the motive behind the THH initiative, KCR said that the primary objective of the program was to increase the green cover in the state from the existing 24% to 33%. He said that 230 crore seedlings would be planted as part of the program, of which 130 crores would be planted outside the reserve forests and 100 crores inside the forests.
The CM also said that an action plan was being prepared to increase the number of seedlings planted per year from the current 40 crores to 100 crores.
The CM added that in addition to plantation, steps were being taken for the protection of the saplings. He also added that if there was a need to cut down trees anywhere for development purposes, immediate steps were being taken to plant an equal number of trees elsewhere, and that adequate funds were being provided for the same.
KCR also informed the minister that the Telangana lifestyle and forests had a deep correlation with each other, and that the Bathukamma festival (a state festival) was organised purely using the flowers from the forests.
The CM also requested the Union Minister to sanction Rs 100 crores from the Central share of the CAMPA funds for supporting the state government's initiative of developing 188 forest blocks within the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority limits, and also requested the Centre to restore the ratio of 70:30 in the ad-hoc CAMPA rules as approved by the Supreme Court.
The CM thanked the Union Minister for granting environmental clearance to the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project, and requested him to visit the project, which was in an advanced stage of construction. He also requested the minister to visit some other places in the state to personally see the programs being undertaken by the government for increasing the green cover.
KCR also sought environmental clearance from the MoEFCC for Stage II of the Palamuru-Rangareddy lift irrigation project.
In the meeting between the Telangana CM and Union Minister, Chief Advisor to the Government of Telangana Rajiv Sharma, Telangana Chief Secretary S K Joshi, Special Chief Secretary Ajay Mishra, CMO Principal Secretary S Narsing Rao, CMO Special Secretary Bhupal Reddy, PCCF P K Jha, CCF Raghuveer, Additional PCCF Shoba, Pollution Control Board Member Secretary Satyanarayana, Irrigation ENC Muralidhar Rao and CMO OSD Priyanka Varghese also participated.