World Earth Day: 1.30 crore planted trees turn arid city into green paradise in Karnataka

World Earth Day: 1.30 crore planted trees turn arid city into green paradise in Karnataka

green paradise in Karnataka

Bengaluru, 23rd April 2024: The ‘Koti Vruksha Abhiyana’, a massive plantation drive under the Hon’ble Minister M B Patil, Ministry of Large and Medium Industries and Infrastructure has successfully planted 1.30 crore trees in Vijayapura, Karnataka, in collaboration with the local forest departments and NGOs since its inception in 2015. This initiative not only aims to revive the once-arid landscape of the district but also to empower the local farmers in the region through the distribution of these saplings at 90% subsidized rates – incentivizing farmers to cultivate sustainable farming and living practices.

During FY2021-22, the Koti Vruksha Abhiyan succeeded in achieving its ambitious goal of planting one crore trees, by disseminating over 80 lakh saplings to farmers and the subsequent planting of over 50 lakh trees across over 100 block plantations, encompassing 5,000 hectares of land within the district. Notably, Vijayapur now houses one of the largest urban forest plantations, with over 60,000 saplings planted on over 600 acres on the city’s outskirts. The project’s resounding success has spurred the implementation of a second phase, with the new target of planting 2 crore trees.

Commending the success of the drive so far, Hon’ble Minister M B Patil noted, “The collaborative efforts of all agents – from field workers and guards, farmers, and the District Forest Officers, over the past eight years are the true torchbearers of this project. Through this initiative, not only did we aim to erudite farmers on the significance of the cause by encouraging the plantation drive through subsidised rates of saplings, but also ensure maintain the plant death rate to a minimum of 2%, a substantial feat considering Vijayapura’s complex topography. By ensuring sustainable planting techniques via solar-driven drip irrigation for each plant, the cooperative determination has enabled self-sustainability across the entire plantation. As we continue to enhance our efforts in the region, the next phase of the plantation drive aims to build one of the largest man-made block plantations around the village of Mamadapur, aiming to plant 2 lakh saplings in a single-block plantation – with 1 lakh saplings to be planted by the end of 2024, covering a total area of 626 hectares.”

The substantial contribution of the partnering NGOs, such as the Society for Protection of Plants and Animals (SPPA), in particular, further enabled the drive’s successful operations by raising awareness about the campaign in the rural region – by educating over 8,000 rural students in the district via a myriad of interactive campaigns/activities, such as building/making bird feeders.

Commenting on the crucial impact of the plantation drive to date, Mr. Dhruv Patil, President of the SPPA, noted, “We have witnessed immense progress in the region’s wildlife and environment only over a span of five years, with the forest cover of the district – which was the lowest in the state – improving from 0.17% to 0.24%. Further, wildlife enthusiasts and environmentalists have already documented over 185 species of birds residing in these plantations, while even acting as home to migratory species. Significant reductions in temperatures have also been witnessed, with the district enjoying the season’s first spell of rains, while the state met with soaring temperatures. We believe that the plantation drive was undertaken/implemented with future generations in mind – creating a vital lung space for the state to filter the urban air, and are immensely proud to be a part of such an ambitious yet noble cause.”

Surpassing the planting of 1.30 crore trees, the Koti Vruksha Abhiyan demonstrates unwavering determination, thriving on continuous growth, and serving as a global exemplar. Aiming to plant another 2 crore trees by 2025 the project aspires to continue to persevere, despite formidable challenges – fostering a flourishing green revolution.