Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi has underlined the importance of plantation drive and said that there cannot be any bigger service to nature and humanity than to plant as many saplings as possible. In his message for the launching of the nationwide “Vriksharopan Abhiyan -2021” today, the Minister said that benefits of today’s act of plantation will be reaped over by generations. “Vriksharopan Abhiyan” will spread awareness about tree plantation amongst employees, society stakeholders and motivate everyone to nurture plants in their vicinity and beautify our landscapes, the Minister stated. Shri Palhad Joshi appealed everyone to plant at least one sapling every year .He pointed out that seeing the little saplings grow in front of our eyes gives the joy of raising a life – a life that in return saves several human lives.
Vriksharopan Abhiyan – 2021 of Ministry of Coal was organized in the august presence of Hon’ble Minister of State for Coal, Mines and Rail ,Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve, Secretary (Coal) and other senior officers of the Ministry of Coal. The tone of the event was set by screening of a video showing plantation done by the Hon’ble Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi and reading of his message on Vriksharopan Abhiyan – 2021.Officers and employees of Coal and Lignite PSUs along with prominent public figures and local inhabitants from different coalfields joined the event through Video Conferencing.
During the event, more than 250 sites were connected through video conferencing with online visibility. In total, about 6 lakh saplings were planted and more than 3.2 lakh saplings were distributed amongst local inhabitants/agencies with an aim to cover more areas with green cover and also to sensitize the host community on the importance of plantation.
Being one of the key events of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration in coal sector, Vriksharopan Abhiyan 2021 got huge response from all mine sites with about 30000 participants in total. More so, the annual event was attended by more than 300 prominent public figures including six Members of Parliament and 18 MLAs.
During the programme, two eco-parks were inaugurated namely Mudwani Dam Eco-park of Northern Coal fields Limited in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh and Mine -II Eco-Park of NLC India Ltd, Neyveli, Tamil Nadu and foundation stone was laid for two parks, namely Jhanjra Eco-Park of Eastern Coalfields Limited in Pachim Bardhaman, West Bengal & Chandrashekhar Azad Orient UG No. 4 Eco-Park of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited in Jharsuguda, Odisha. These eco-parks/tourism sites would provide avenues for recreation, adventure, water sport, bird watching etc. for the people residing in nearby areas and will be integrated to form part of local tourism circuit.
Minister of State for Coal, Mines and Rail, in his address conveyed that tree plantation is important for the present as well as the future generations. Lauding the efforts of coal PSUs, he said that they have enhanced raw coal production from 565.77 MT in 2013-14 to 716.08 MT in 2020-21, despite the adverse impact of COVID. He expected that in future coal PSUs will meet the rising coal demand-supply gap, eliminate coal import and make India Atma Nirbhar and energy secure. He appreciated the greening initiatives of coal/lignite PSUs and hoped that Vriksharopan Abhiyan will enable these PSUs to achieve their greening target of planting 60 lakh trees this fiscal. In the end, he advised PSUs to ensure that all saplings be protected and nurtured till they attain a stage of self-sustainability.
Secretary, Ministry of Coal stated that Vriksharopan Abhiyan 2021, being a key event of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration in coal sector, will bring environment sustainability and facilitate return of reclaimed mine sites to the local community. He emphasized the importance of trees for the well being of eco-system and urged everyone to plant and take care of trees. He also advised coal/lignite PSUs to develop their own nurseries for growing seedlings in order to promote plantation in and around mining areas. In the end, he congratulated sustainable development cells of the Ministry and PSUs for the noble initiative and expected that successful launch of Vriksharopan Abhiyan will spur the ongoing reclamation/planation drive of coal/lignite PSUs.
Participants in the programme included Shri VK Tiwari, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Coal through VC from Ghatmpur TPP site of NLCIL, Shri M Nagaraju, Additional Secretary, Shri Shyam Bhagat Negi, Joint Secretary, Smt. Vismita Tej, Joint Secretary, Shri BP Pati, Joint Secretary, and other officers from Ministry of Coal, Shri Pramod Agrawal, CMD, CIL, Shri Rakesh Kumar, CMD, NLCIL, Shri N Sridhar, CMD, SCCL, CMDs of CIL subsidiaries and Directors of Coal and lignite PSUs from their respective sites through VC.