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64th Van Mahotsav 2013

The Van Mahotsav 2013 commenced on a grand note with Chief Minister Narendra Modi dedicating Nagesh Van to the people. Nagesh Van is situated near the iconic Nageshwar Temple, which is close to Dwarka in Jamnagar District. Shri Modi spoke about the importance of social forestry, especially in the non forest areas and shared that due to social forestry Gujarat has witnessed an increase of over 5 crore trees in the last decade. He opined that Gujarat is not only giving importance to industrial development but also protection of the environment. Shri Modi further shared that the number of mangroves in Gujarat has increased by over two and a half times and this helps in preventing soil erosion in coastal areas of the state.

Earlier the Van Mahotsavs used to be confined to functions in the state capital but in the last decade they have been celebrated all across the state. Every year, the Van Mahotsavs are celebrated in a place that is culturally significant and a special forest is inaugurated there. This year the Chief Minister inaugurated Nagesh Van. Shri Modi stated that doing this not only increases awareness about the environment but also increases tourism in the areas where the Mahotsav has been celebrated.

The Chief Minister also spoke about the importance of sea weed cultivation in coastal areas and pointed that it will help the coastal communities immensely. He talked about how Jan Bhagidari can be effectively used to preserve the various species in the forest like the Gir Lion. About the importance of trees Shri Modi said, “Let trees become a part of our family, the pride of the village and cities. Let us create such an environment.” He urged the people to form a special bond with the oldest tree of the village. He also urged the people to plant five trees on the birth of the girl child, which will generate enough income for giving a prosperous life to the daughters.

Shri Modi presented cheques to Gram Panchayats and awarded Van Pandit awards. Shri Modi said that Van Mahotsavs have played a major role in bringing the people of various districts of Gujarat closer to the environment.

Forest Minister Shri Ganpatbhai Vasava, Agriculture Minister and Guardian Minister for Jamnagar district Shri Babubhai Bokhiria and Minister of State Smt. Vasuben Trivedi were present on the occasion.

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