Provincial government spends huge budget on tree plantation programmes but fails to bear fruitThe provincial government has plans to distribute and plant tree saplings in 12 districts of the province, except in Jhapa and Panchthar.
The Provincial 1 government has spent a huge amount of its annual budget on tree plantation campaigns over the years. The government runs these campaigns with the objective to increase forest cover in the province. However, the campaigns have failed to bear fruit as the planted saplings die soon after for lack of care.
For this fiscal year too, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment of Province 1 has launched several province forest development and greenery programmes.
To bring the programmes into effect, the provincial government has allocated around Rs 86 million. The government also aims to produce and purchase 4,566,000 saplings of various tree species, such as Rudraksha, Tejpata (Cinnamomum tamala), Lauth Salla, Moringa and several fruits, according to Anirudra Kumar Sah, information officer at the ministry.
The provincial government has plans to distribute and plant tree saplings in 12 districts of the province, except in Jhapa and Panchthar.
“The provincial government plans to produce 3,416,000 saplings under the programmes at the cost of Rs 47.5 million,” said Sah. “An additional 1,150,000 saplings will be grown with Rs 38.5 million conditional grant provided by the federal government under medicinal herbs development programme.”
In the last fiscal year of 2018/19, the provincial government produced and distributed 3,473,000 saplings. The saplings were distributed to farmers but they were not planted and preserved well.
According to Tilak Gautam, a conservationist, the government aims to plant trees to take advantage of carbon trade. “The government has been producing and distributing tree saplings farmers free of cost through the Division Forest Office. But since agricultural farmers do not plant trees, the government-launched programme is not effective,” he said.
Gautam claimed the government has been distributing tree saplings for years under the Tarai Madhes Greenery programme, but there are no results to show for it. According to Gautam, 21 local units of Morang, Sunsari and Jhapa districts have less than 10 percent forest area hitherto.