Agra : Uttar Pradesh is set to create probably a world record by planting 10 million saplings on a single day – on July 31.
According to V.N. Garg, principal secretary of the forest department, 850,000 saplings would be planted in the seven districts of Agra division alone.
Forest department officials here said efforts were on to mobilise support services for such large-scale greening effort.
Divisional Forest Officer S.P. Yadav says the record will be a feather in the cap for the department. "Agra particularly needs to take a more active interest in afforestation efforts," he added.
The target for Lucknow division is one million saplings; for Faizabad division 1.3 million and for Meerut division 557,000 saplings.
Yadav said it would be one of the most ambitious projects the forest department has undertaken.
"Schools, colleges, government departments and NGOs all over the state will be involved on July 31," Yadav told IANS.
"Specific sites with required free land and water and also volunteers have been identified. Work on mobilizing the people has begun."
The department has 13 nurseries with 10 million saplings, he added. "Where security permits, we will go in for planting ornamental and fruit trees. Jatropha is also on the list for its use as a bio fuel."
A committee from the Guiness Book of World Records has been invited to witness the event.
Educational institutions have been targeted because student groups represented in ECO Clubs have volunteered to look after the saplings for at least a year, Yadav explained.
"As a precaution, we have selected those varieties which require less water and are safe from grazing animals," he added.