India aims to plant a record 50 million trees in a day

2016-07-11 12:39
(Rajesh Kumar Singh, AP)

(Rajesh Kumar Singh, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lucknow - Hundreds of thousands of people in India's most populous state jostled for space on Monday as they attempted to plant 50 million trees over 24 hours in hopes of shattering the world record.

Officials in Uttar Pradesh distributed millions of saplings to be planted across the state to help India's efforts to increase its forest cover, and to get into Guinness World Records for the most trees planted in a day. The current record is 847 275, set in Pakistan in 2013.

More than 800 000 people, including students, lawmakers, government officials, housewives and volunteers from nonprofit organisations, headed out on Monday to plant the saplings at designated spots along country roads and highways, rail tracks and forest lands.

Uttar Pradesh's top elected official, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, said that planting 50 million trees would spread awareness and enthusiasm about afforestation and environmental conservation.

"The world has realised that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change. Uttar Pradesh has made a beginning in this regard," Yadav told volunteers in the city of Kannauj, 250 km southwest of the state capital, Lucknow.

Long-term survival

India's government is encouraging all 29 states to start tree-planting drives to increase the country's forest cover as part of commitments made at last year's climate change summit in Paris. The government has designated more than $6.2 billion for tree-planting across the country, in keeping with its pledge to push India's forest cover to 95 million hectares by 2030.

In Lucknow's Kukrail Reserve Forest, eighth-grader Shashwat Rai said he was planting a "peepal," using the local name for the fig species Ficus religiosa.

"I've read in a book that this tree releases maximum oxygen," Rai said. "There is so much pollution in the city, we need trees that produce oxygen."

Shashwat said he would be checking on the tree frequently. "I don't want this plant to die," he said.

The long-term survival of trees planted in such mass campaigns remains a concern, officials said.

Senior forest official Sanjeev Saran said the sites where the trees have been planted would be monitored through aerial photographs taken at regular intervals to check how many of the saplings were thriving.

Usually, only 60% of saplings survive, with the rest succumbing to disease or lack of water, officials said.

Meanwhile, auditors from Guinness World Records were moving around in the state to check on the numbers. "We are trying to maintain full transparency," Saran said.

"They are out in the field and are supervising the plantation drive," he said. "We do not know who they are or where they are at this point in time. They are working incognito, and this suits us."

Last year, Uttar Pradesh entered Guinness World Records for the largest distribution of saplings by donating more than 1 million trees that were planted at 10 locations in the state.

Read more on:    india  |  envionment  |  pollution

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.