The Railways will seek help of the Territorial Army to speed up tree plantation drive across the country. The Railways has undertaken the task of planting about 5 crore trees along tracks and on rail land in close coordination with states to increase green coverage in the country. Reviewing the tree plantation drive, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today directed that the state-wise list be prepared pertaining to tree plantation on railway land by state agencies.
He has also directed to seek assistance from units of Territorial Army for the purpose of tree plantation. Vice-chancellors of universities may also be approached for assistance, he suggested. During the review, railway minister was apprised of the developments in the Zonal Railways in the states of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. In the two states MoU has been signed between Railway Administration and Forest Development Corporations. Railways will identify tracts of land in the Railway premises and Forest Department of the States will help with identification and supply of local varieties of trees to be planted before the onset of monsoon in the month of July 2017.
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Prabhu was informed that in Central Railway zone, MoU has been signed at the zonal headquarter level with State Forest Department and subsidiary MoUs have been signed at the divisional level with the local officers of the Chief Conservation of Forests. Central Railway has identified and offered 227 hectares of railway land for such joint plantation for about 6 lakh saplings and trees. In South East Central Railway zone, MoU has been signed with Chhattisgarh Rajya Van Vikas Nigam. Land is being identified for tree plantation.
Prabhu directed that these should be expedited so as to have effective tree plantation before onset of the monsoon season. He indicated that Rajasthan CM has shown interest in tree plantation by the state government on land identified by zonal railway.