A comprehensive plantation drive was carried out by environmental activists of Gautam Budh Nagar. The area covered under the drive stretches from Surajpur Wetland, Gr. Noida up to Ganga Bank, Garhmukteshwar, Hapur, UP, a total of about 90 kms.
According to noted environmentalist Vikrant Tongad who along with others is spearheading the drive called ‘Mission 2020 Plantation Drive’, the reason for choosing this stretch is that it comes under the NCR and is one of the most polluted areas.
Tongad said: “With the increase in urbanisation and decrease in the green cover, the pressure of saving the environment is increasing which makes it our priority to conserve as well as spread awareness about saving the environment.”
While giving more details about the particular drive, Tongad elaborated, “Our aim is to organize a series of plantations wherein a tree will be planted every alternate kilometre and then hold an environmental meeting at the same spot with the local communities to educate them about the current scenario and spreading awareness about why is it so important to take steps like these. By following these steps, we plan to cover a total of 90 kms. This drive is different in terms of how it encourages people to adopt a sapling so that it can be looked after rather than just planting one.”
The drive also will keep a count of the trees so planted and their future maintenance. Throwing more light Tongad said: “Wherever we plant a sapling, we plan to engage the local communities or volunteers or landlords, on whose property the sapling will be planted, or the students studying in nearby schools to voluntarily adopt the sapling for 3 years and take care of it. People from our organization will also check up after every 2 weeks to see if the sapling needs anything like tree guard, more water, etc.”
The initiative is bound to create an impact on the peoples’ minds about what the benefits are of looking after the environment along with making them a shareholder and giving them responsibility of doing their part, said Tongad.
The plantation drive began on 5 January 2020 and is likely to go on through June 2020 when a seminar and plantation will be held on the banks of Ganga, averred Tongad.
He added, “Currently, the project has almost covered Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad and Hapur districts and overall 10 environmental meetings have been held.