The forest department of Maharashtra will use the global positioning system (GPS) to monitor the growth of approximately 18 crore saplings planted this year apart from the trees planted earlier. The department has asked its officials to upload images and readings of plantation drives undertaken across the state so that the updates will be available at the click of the mouse, said state forest minister Patangrao Kadam on Monday.
Kadam was addressing a press conference after a review meeting held to take stock of developments following the government’s ambitious programme to plant 100 crore saplings.
The minister expressed satisfaction about the implementation of the programme. He said that officials were asked to submit a report on the plantation done. “Uploading this information on our website through GPS will provide area-wise updated data which will make it easy to monitor the work done so far,” Kadam said.
The government now realizes the importance of taking care of these saplings and trees. “We have a proposal to deploy one worker for 200 saplings. Besides, the government is also working on a scheme to transfer saplings not planted to nurseries,” the minister said.
Kadam said the government has planted about 18 crore saplings this year, which is higher than last year’s 8 crore saplings. The Nagpur division has remained at the top by achieving up to 80% of the target. Five districts — Chandrapur, Kolhapur, Nandurbar, Gadchiroli and Bhandara – also met the target. The Pune division has succeeded in planting about 1 crore saplings in the current year.
The minister also said that steps are being initiated to regularize about 5,089 posts of forest labourers. The order is likely to be issued before Diwali.