Khadoor Sahib, (GGS NEWS) 21 Feb 2011 ::A silent green drive is sweeping the countryside in Punjab, thanks to the efforts of Padam Shri Baba Sewa Singh Khadoor Sahibwale who has been adopting villages in the state for his plantation drive for the past one year and aims to augment green cover in 100 villages every year.
Throwing light on his new project in an exclusive interview with The Tribune here yesterday, Baba Sewa Singh said, “We have been planting trees on the roadsides for almost a decade now. After planting around 2.5 lakh trees alongside different stretches of roads measuring 250 km, we thought of adding a new dimension to our drive. We started adopting villages for boosting green cover in the state. Under the project, we plant at least two trees, preferably neem and jamun, in every household. The project has turned out to be a huge success with around 35,000 trees being already planted in 76 Punjab villages over the last one year.”
According to him, they will adopt another 100 villages this year in Bathinda, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran districts. “We are targeting plantation of at least 500 trees in each village, which would make a total of 50,000 trees in 100 villages every year,” he added.
Baba Sewa Singh also revealed that another advantage of their new drive was that common people were getting involved in environment conservation. “Earlier, when we used to plant saplings alongside roads, it was entirely up to my staff to maintain the new plantation, but now the people are also taking interest. The cost of maintaining growth of plants has also come down drastically.”
“For undertaking plantation alongside roads, we first need to have tree guards for protecting plants. Then we should have 10 water tankers of 10,000 litre capacity each and a team of 30-40 staff members who watered new plants at regular intervals. However, while planting trees in villages, the villagers themselves take care of the plants’ growth.”
To keep tabs on the growth of plants, Baba Sewa Singh has entrusted the job of monitoring the situation to three-four individuals in each village. These volunteers maintain a record of all the people on whose premises trees have been planted.
Apart from it, Baba Sewa Singh would also be planting saplings on “phirnis” (village boundary demarcating the residential area) in five villages every year. The plantation on “phirnis” would become the property of the farmers on whose land these were standing. Recently, they have planted 150 mango trees at Baniya village, near here. “Now, it is up to the villagers whether they want to utilise mangoes at their homes or sell them in the market to earn extra income,” he added.