Jharkhand, TN, Odisha and UP to get 6 eco parks, courtesy Coal India & NLCIL

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched a tree plantation campaign “Vriksharopan Abhiyan” of the Ministry of Coal in the presence of Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi on Thursday. During the launch event at his residence, the Union Home Minister inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of six eco parks or tourism sites. The tree plantation campaign was conducted at more than 130 locations spread in 38 districts of 10 coal and lignite-bearing states through video conferencing.  Amit Shah said, “I congratulate the Coal Ministry for planting trees at more than 130 locations spread in 38 districts of 10 states.”

Ministry of Coal’s Secretary Anil Kumar Jain, Joint Secretary BP Pati, and other senior officials were also present on the occasion. About 32,000 people were present in the virtual event from 160 locations. More than 300 dignitaries from states including MPs, MLAs, and state government officials joined the event virtually.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said climate change has impacted the world and only greenery is the solution to this crisis. He said our culture has emphasised that one must not exploit nature but instead must support nature.

“The focal mantra of Indian heritage has been that we should harness natural resources and not exploit them. We ignored this principle at our own peril, leading to depletion of the Ozone layer and forming Ozone Hole, which in turn resulted in global warming and climate change. There is only one solution to this problem and one that has been mentioned in the Puranas by sages that trees are friends of mankind and the only greenery can get us out of this crisis. Trees give us the life-saving Oxygen, help reduce Carbon footprint and preserve the Ozone layer,” said Shah.

Speaking on the occasion, Joshi said that with an aim to conserve and preserve the environment, six lakh seedlings are being planted across 600 acres in 38 districts of 10 states today. Additional five lakh seedlings will be distributed to the local people on the occasion. The total cost involved in the 5 eco-parks and 1 Sal plantation project is Rs 27.60 crore.

Details of eco-parks & tourism sites

Two eco-parks, inaugurated by the Minister, are to be developed in Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu. The eco-park in Jharkhand named Parasnath Udhyan has been developed by Coal India Limited’s (CIL) subsidiary Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) and is spread across 3.5 hectares that includes jogging tracks, flower gardens, resting benches, green tunnel, along with aquatic eco-system and waste to wealth zone. The eco-park in Tamil Nadu has been developed by NLC India Limited and is spread across 15 acres and includes boating, resting benches, dense cover, bird watching zone, etc. Different kinds of fish in the lake and more than 250 species of birds would be the other attractions of this eco-park.

Three eco-parks for which foundation stone was laid will come up in Uttar Pradesh and will be developed by CIL's subsidiary Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL), Lilari eco-park in Odisha will be developed by CIL subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) and eco-park in Jharkhand will be developed by CIL's subsidiary Central Coalfields Limited (CCL). Foundation stone was also laid for a Sal plantation project in Odisha to be developed by NLC (India) Limited.

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