The area within five kilometres of the radius of the Ganga River in Prayagraj will now be developed as a forest land.
Villagers will be made aware about the need to protect the environment and intensive plantation drive will be carried out in this area.
Saplings of ‘panchkol’ — five tree variety including Peepal, Pakkad, Banyan, Bel and Babul — will be planted and the drive will be carried out in the rural pockets of both trans-Ganga and trans-Yamuna regions of the district.
Ganga Samagra, an organisation associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), will play a key role in this drive.
Rakesh Mishra, co-convener of the Ganga Samagra Kashi province, said, “Panchkol, that is, Banyan, Peepal, Pakad, Bel and indigenous Babul (acacia plant) trees have medicinal properties as they are able to exhale large amounts of oxygen. These trees also hold a special place in our Sanatan traditions and texts. So, we have decided to plant saplings of these trees along the 5-km radius of Ganga and also in the ponds of the villages”.
“To protect the plants, tree guards are being procured from the residents of the area. Individuals have been given the responsibility of taking care of the planted saplings. Each sapling is named after the individual or any elder of their family to establish an emotional connect,” he said.
He further said, “In many places, this tradition of planting saplings is believed to be a pious event and locals are taking great interest in it.
The volunteers of Ganga Samagra are also engaged in reviving the ponds along with the plantation drive. District coordinator Ram Shiromani Mishra said that the campaign to plant trees is being run especially around the ponds by the organisation. This will help in rainwater harvesting.
“Work has already begun in some places. The ponds are being deepened at all these places along with the planting of Panchkol saplings,” he said.