MP: Forest dept has 7 cr saplings; yet Rs 10 cr paid to private nurseries

Govt plans to plant seven crore saplings later this year

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced some months back that the state government would undertake a massive tree plantation drive this year under which seven crore saplings would be planted in different parts of the state.

However, the horticulture department could prepare only 13 lakh saplings in its 313 nurseries in the state. This, when the department spends Rs 25 crore on its nurseries annually and more than 1,600 persons work in them.

Now, the department has decided to purchase 21 lakh saplings from private nurseries all over the country at a cost of Rs 10 core, mostly from nurseries in other states. This, when the state forest department has seven crore saplings, which it is ready to supply for free.

World record fiasco

Last year, the state government had claimed to have created a world record by planting seven crore saplings in a day on July 2, 2017. However, the Guinness Book of World Records turned down the state government’s request for an entry into the book as it could produce evidence of planting only 3.5 crore saplings.

After the fiasco, this year, it has been decided to conduct the plantation drive in phases.

Satyanand, commissioner, horticulture said that the purchase has been made through tendering.

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