New Delhi, Aug 18: Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah Friday said that environmental protection was possible only by planting trees.
An official spokesman in a statement issued to Press Information Bureau said that planting the 40 millionth (4 croreth) tree under the all-India tree plantation campaign of the Ministry of Home Affairs at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Group Center in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Shah said, “Environmental protection is possible only by planting trees.”
In his address, he said that a tree planted today would provide oxygen to many future generations.
Shah said that with the increasing pollution, the ozone layer was being damaged, and as a result, in the future, solar rays would directly impact the Earth, due to which the Earth would not remain safe for human life.
He said that the only way to prevent such a scenario was by planting as many trees as possible and reducing the emission of carbon dioxide.
Shah said that two factors were considered when planting trees.
“First, the trees being planted should have a long lifespan, and second, they should be able to provide maximum oxygen, such as Peepal, Banyan, Neem, Jamun, and others,” he said.
Shah said that these trees emit oxygen ranging from 60 to 100 percent and would contribute towards conservation of Earth for years.
He also inaugurated 15 newly constructed buildings, built at a cost of Rs 165 crores, across 8 different campuses of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
These include, construction of 220 family accommodations at 102 Rapid Task Force at a cost of Rs 57 crore; construction of a 50-bed hospital in Group Center, Raipur at a cost of Rs 17 crore; administrative building, quarter guard, and parade ground at Recruit Training Center Jodhpur at a cost of Rs 16 crore; construction of a 240-men barrack in Group Center Raipur built at a cost of Rs 11 crore, and construction of hospitals, gyms, mess, sewage treatment plants, and canteens in various parts of the country.
Shah said that today was a significant day for all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
He said that three years ago, it was resolved that by December 2023, we would plant 5 crore trees and after gap filling, once they have grown bigger, we would dedicate them to the world.
Shah expressed confidence that the goal of planting 5 crore trees by December 2023 would be achieved.
He said that to turn this seemingly impossible task into a reality, all the personnel of CAPFs and their families embraced it as a challenge, regarded the trees as their friends, and dedicated time to care for them.
He said that with the planting of 40 millionth sapling, that too of Peepal, the contribution of all CAPFs in making the Earth greener would be remembered forever.
“This campaign would write a new saga of sensitivity of CAPFs towards conservation of earth and climate change along with bravery,” Shah said.
He said that the target for planting 1 crore 50 lakh saplings this year was in progress, and a total of 4 crore saplings had been planted till today and the goal of planting 5 crore trees would be achieved soon.
“Today was the birth anniversary of Param Vir Chakra awardee Lieutenant Colonel A B Tarapore, who not only made the supreme sacrifice for the security of the country but also set an excellent example by valiantly leading from the front and boosting everyone’s morale,” Shah said.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had immortalised the memory of Lieutenant Colonel A B Tarapore by naming an island in Andaman-Nicobar after him, ensuring that he remains alive in the hearts and minds of the people forever.
Shah said that the all-India tree plantation campaign to plant 5 crore trees was like a Mahakumbh of environmental protection.
He said that the personnel of all CAPFs had stood steadfastly to ensure the country’s internal security and safeguard its borders with their courage, sacrifice, dedication, and hard work.
“Apart from ensuring the country’s internal security, disaster management, border security and ensuring public facilities to the first villages located on the borders, CAPFs are now doing unprecedented work towards environmental protection through tree plantation drive,” Shah said.
He said that whether it was natural disasters or pandemics like COVID-19, CAPFs had shown unwavering commitment to stand by the people in every crisis without hesitating to risk their lives.
Shah said that through the Vibrant Village Programme, CAPFs were ensuring that public service and facilities were made available to first villages situated on the country’s borders.
He said that now another dimension had been added wherein CAPFs have made consistent efforts in environmental protection by planting and nurturing 4 crore trees, and would achieve the target to plant 5 crore trees by December this year. Shah said that it would be the biggest contribution by a security-related agency towards environmental conservation globally.
He said that all the CAPFs together had planted 4 crore trees, and the officials of MHA had overseen the programme at various levels.
Shah said that all the DGs of all CAPFs had shown commitment to this programme, and it had been wholeheartedly embraced at the platoon and sector levels.
He said that in several places, protective fences and nets were installed to safeguard the saplings, and trenches were dug to ensure their survival.
Shah said that due to all these efforts, 4 crore trees were making the Earth greener, now.
He said that PM Modi had worked towards developing and making India Atma Nirbhar in various sectors, strengthening the country’s position in the world.
“Our heritage and culture has always promoted environmental protection, and through our sentiments and actions, we have always ensured conservation of environment,” Shah said.
He said that PM Modi had made India a frontrunner in the fight against climate change and global warming through the green initiative.
Shah said that for this reason, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (One Earth, One Family, One Future) had been adopted as the mission statement of G-20.
He said that India, along with France, initiated the International Solar Alliance, a project that aims to create ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’.
“Many countries are now participating and contributing in this alliance. It is a significant achievement of the Centre under the leadership of PM Modi,” Shah said.
He said that through the Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) mission initiative, PM Modi had put forth a traditional way of life to the world as a means to save the Earth.
Shah said that the world was now following these initiatives, and it was because of these efforts that the United Nations honoured PM Modi with the ‘Champions of Earth’ award, recognising his commitment to sustainable development.
He said that India had also explored new methods to reduce single-use plastics.
Shah said that through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, PM Modi had taken a significant step towards environmental protection.
“Initially, only 39 percent of households in the country had toilets, but now, 99.9 percent of households have toilets, which is a remarkable achievement in our efforts towards environmental conservation,” he said.
Shah said that initiatives like Net-Zero Carbon Emission, International Solar Alliance, 20 percent Ethanol Blending, construction of 12 modern refineries for converting biogas into biofuel, and the Green Hydrogen Mission were being eagerly observed by the world and being emulated.
He said that PM Modi had showcased India’s commitment to environmental protection through eight crucial missions: National Solar Mission, National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency, National Mission on Sustainable Habitat, National Water Mission, National Mission for a Green India, National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.
“These initiatives are re-establishing the age-old culture of environmental protection in our country,” Shah said.
He said that today CAPFs had accomplished what seemed impossible.
Shah expressed confidence that as security and valour for the nation were the ethos of CAPFs, they would also embrace tree plantation as their ethos.
Several dignitaries including the Union Home Secretary and Director Generals of CRPF, CISF, NSG, NDRF, ITBP, SSB, BSF, and Assam Rifles were present on the occasion.