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Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi launched 62nd state Van Mahotsav today from the famous pilgrim place Pavagadh by planting a sapling here on the site named Virasat Van (Heritage Forest).

Virasat Van will be developed with the people's participation in the area of 6.5 hectare in the foothills of Pavagadh. Since 2004, Chief Minister Mr. Modi has initiated to develop a series of ‘cultural forests' in the state. Virast Van is the eighth one in this series where trees of 30 different types will be grown beautifying the entire area of Pavagadh hills.

On the occasion, Chief Minister asked people to actively participate in ‘Vave Gujarat' campaign and exhorted people to plant two trees on the birth of a girl child in their families. He said the same trees will yield them enough money for the marriage of their daughter. He also expressed desire to make Gujarat greener by infusing love for the trees in the people across the state.

Chief Minister said the materialistic western culture has destabilized the nature but the Indian tradition believes in the principle of ‘Chhod ma Ranchhod' (Tree has god in it). Living in harmony with nature is the only way out from global warming, he said.

“Van Mahotsav is meant to love and worship the nature. The state government does not want it to remain merely a government programme but wants to involve people in it. And so, it has developed different type of forests with the theme of various elements of our culture so that people can relate to it”, he said.

Speaking on the occasion Forest Minister Mr. Mangubhai Patel said that there are 1300 different medicinal trees being seen in Gujarat. There is a need to take more care of these trees. In a novel concept, the state government has grown various forests like Smriti Van, Rashi Van, Nakshatra Van and others while the forest department is also working for the greening of the urban areas.

Social Justice Minister Mr. Fakirbhai Vaghela said that every religion has considered the tree sacred. He expressed faith that the people of the state will enthusiastically involve themselves in this forestry campaign.

Principal Secretary Mr.S.K.Nanda informed that at present there are 16 trees per hectare in the state and 4.6% of the area outside of forests is green. State government wishes it to increase to 20 and 6% respectively.

‘Van Pandit' award was given by the Chief Minister and other dignitaries to all those farmers who contributed greatly for the nurturing of age-old trees.

Minister of State for Forest Mr. Kiritsinh Rana, Minister of State for Tribal Welfare Mr. Jaswantsinh Bhabhor, MLAs Mr.Jethabhai Bharwad, Arvindsinh Chauhan, Chief Forest Conservator Dr.Jagdishprasad, District Collector Mr.Manish Chandra, Government office bearers and people in large number were present on the occasion.

Gujarat Information Bureau

 
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