10 Years of Telangana: A green paradise in the making through Haritha Haram

It was in 2015 when CM KCR launched a revolutionary programme called Haritha Haram, with the noble aim of transforming Telangana into a green paradise


HYDERABAD: It was in 2015 when Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao launched a revolutionary programme called Haritha Haram, with the noble aim of transforming Telangana into a green paradise.

The Chief Minister envisioned a future where Telangana will flourish with lush greenery just like China and Brazil which have been successful in increasing their green cover. The Haritha Haram programme then became a movement, with the government determined to raise the green cover to a remarkable 33 per cent.

Over the course of eight years, a staggering 273.33 crore saplings have been planted in the state, costing a total of Rs 10,822.46 crores. This tremendous effort garnered recognition from the Forest Survey of India in 2021, which reported an impressive 7.7 percent increase in green cover in Telangana.

Unlike any other place in the world, the Telangana government established the innovative Harita Nidhi (Green Fund), encouraging participation of all sections of society.

The year 2023 marks the beginning of the ninth phase of Haritha Haram which will be undertaken from June 19. Chief Minister KCR will participate in the Harithotsavam programme coinciding with the celebrations of 10 years of Telangana The Chief Minister will plant saplings in Thummaluru Urban Forest Park in Ranga Reddy district. A total of 19.29 crore saplings are targeted to be planted this year. Overall, 30.29 crore plants are currently available in 14,864 nurseries.

Haritha Haram in Hyderabad

In the magnificent city of Hyderabad, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) took up the mantle of Haritha Haram with great enthusiasm. The corporation developed a staggering 977 parks within the metropolitan area in the last few years. Targeting the planting of 10 crore saplings, GHMC has nearly achieved its goal, with the corporation preserving these plants in collaboration with voluntary and colony societies.

Development of forest zones around Hyderabad

Recognising the need to preserve the expanding Hyderabad city and its surrounding areas, the government embarked on developing forest zones. With over one-and-a-half lakh acres of forest land in a 50-60 km radius around the city, the goal was to protect the environment and ensure that the city breathed healthy air. The Musi riverfront in Hyderabad was also exclusively dedicated to urban forestry, further enhancing the city's greenery.

Not stopping there, the GHMC took a unique initiative to transform empty spaces into dense forests using the Akira Miyawaki technique, popularized in Japan. Companies like NTPC, GenQ, Exgon and CGI joined hands as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to establish and manage these forest swathes, contributing to the cause of environmental conservation.

Industrial pollution-free Hyderabad

The Telangana government has also been resolute in making Hyderabad an industrial pollution-free city. With 1,545 identified as polluting industries within Hyderabad, plans have been set in motion to relocate them beyond the Outer Ring Road. About 19 areas have been designated as industrial townships, ensuring a clean and sustainable future for the city.

To further promote the use of medicinal plants and raise awareness among the people, the Urban Biodiversity Department of the GHMC plans to establish two medicinal forests in urban areas. These man-made gardens will showcase the diverse range of medicinal plants and their invaluable benefits to the community.

As Telangana celebrates its 10th anniversary, the Haritha Haram programme stands tall as a symbol of the state's commitment to environmental preservation. From the humble beginnings of planting saplings to the establishment of vast forest zones and industrial townships, Telangana had come a long way in its green journey.

With each passing year, the legacy of Haritha Haram continues to grow, inspiring future generations to cherish and protect the environment.

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