Green Mahanadi Mission: Odisha To Plant 1 Cr Seedlings Covering 10,000 Hectares This Time

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Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of “Inception Workshop on DPR Preparation for Rejuvenation of Mahanadi and Godavari Rivers through Forestry Interventions” today, Odisha has decided this time to plant one crore seedlings on 10,000 hectares of land and the concerned departments to work in a coordinated manner.

 The significant workshop here today was jointly organized by Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Institute of Forest Biodiversity, Hyderabad (Telangana) in collaboration with Forest & Environment Department, Government of Odisha.

In his media reactions, Odisha PCCF & HoFF Dr Sandeep Tripathy said, “Today we have the workshop for DPR preparation for Mahanadi and Godavari. National Board for Afforestation has been entrusted with the job by the Ministry of Environment & Forest. So, Institute of Forest Biodiversity, Hyderabad will be doing for Godavari and Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi will present DPR for Mahanadi. After the duo prepares DPR, they will get the funding. Then the project will be done here in our State.”

He informed, “Our State Government has already started here Green Mahanadi Mission. We had had plantation of 78 lakh seedlings over 7,500 hectares last year. This year our enhanced target is around 10,000 hectares under the Green Mahanadi Mission in which around 1 crore plantation of seedlings will be raised. Horticulture Department will raise 7 lakh 50 thousands, Water Resources Department will be doing 10 lakh plantations.”

He further informed, “It has been decided that there will be a PMU formed. That will be coordinated by the Water Resources Department. Agriculture Department, Water Resources Department, Forest, Agriculture etc will join. Revenue will also be included by them. For monitoring there will be a cell ORSAC (Odisha Space Application Centre).”

“By doing so, we want to watch how our ground water is being recharged more, increase in hand pump water and increase in silt load. A PMU is being prepared to see how this is happening,” mentioned the Odisha PCCF.

Odisha Water Resources Secretary P.K. Jena stated, “We are building check dams in a large scale manner. Wherever we are constructing series of check dams, we are gradually noticing that water is being stored even till April and May while earlier it was nil in January and February. Hence in 5-10 years gradually, water will get recharged down the earth and start flowing.”

He added, “For instances, Tarun Bharat Sangh of Rajasthan by Rajendra Singh, River Rejuvenation Programme by Art of Living and Sadguru Foundation are some of the successful models now.”

He informed, “Water Resources Department and Soil Conservation Department used to build only check dams. We weren’t having it in a coordinated way. But, for the last 4-5 months, we are having series of meeting with other departments how to do it in a coordinated manner and in a limited area so that we can show result.”

He further informed, “Not only for paddy cultivation, but also for industrial purpose. Previously we used to provide 45 cusec water for 1000 mega watt power generation. Later it got reduced to 40 and 36 cusec. Now that there are some plants they need 30-31 cusec water for power generation. It means they are gradually using water efficiently developing new system.”

“Gradually, we need low water use system by using the latest technology. Be it high water use cropping system. So departments should water together to strengthen the farmers and bring confidence in them that production and productivity will not lessen despite use of less water,” mentioned the Water Resources Secretary. 

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Dr Sandeep Tripathy, PCCF, Odisha

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P.K. Jena, Secretary, Water Resources, Odisha