Shah lauds CAPFs, plants sapling to mark milestone of plantation drive

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Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday said the central armed police forces (CAPFs) were not only performing their key role of securing the country but also protecting the environment as he planted a peepal sapling to mark the milestone of their 40 million tree plantations since 2020. Shah called it the largest-ever plantation drive by security forces globally and added the target is planting 50 million trees by the year-end.

“It is a legacy CAPFs will be leaving for the generations. Like the internal security challenge, CAPFs jawans treated tree plantation as their duty. They treated trees as their friends, took time out of their busy schedules, and cared for them. We will be able to accomplish the 50 million tree plantation target by the year-end,” Shah said after planting the sapling at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)’s Group Centre in Greater Noida. He also virtually inaugurated 15 buildings on eight CRPF campuses.

Shah, who launched the drive in July 2020 with a target to plant 50 million trees by December 2023, called the campaign a “Maha Kumbh” for environmental protection.

Over 35 million saplings were planted across the country from 2020 to 2022. In a statement on Thursday, the Union home ministry said the target of planting 15 million saplings was set for 2023. It added this will be an exemplary contribution to the overall environmental protection efforts. “It will also be a symbol of true gratitude to mother earth.”

The statement added central forces reiterate their dedication towards aligning its future endeavours in tune with environment protection, conservation, and preservation besides maintaining internal security and upholding the country’s unity and integrity.

A timetable was drawn for the drive on the appropriate species to be planted in specified sectors. A nodal officer was also appointed for the purpose. Local species, medicinal and environment-friendly trees were to be planted as far as possible. At least half of the total plantation was to constitute long-lasting trees with a lifecycle of 100 years or more.

Shah said when a tree is planted, it gives oxygen to the new generation for years. “The plant selection under this drive was done after proper research. We decided that trees that have longer life spans such as Peepal, Bargad, and Jamun should be planted.”

Shah highlighted the steps Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken for the environment such as the Lifestyle for Environment to promote climate-friendly behaviours. He added even the developed countries have shown interest in them.