HomeBiharOver 650 square miles of Bihar land to be under green cover by 2017 Syed Ashar Ali Bihar Photo for representation purpose only The total area of Bihar is 38301 square miles (38,301 mi²). About 15% of the area is to be covered by trees as a part of ‘Haryali Mission’ which was launched in 2012. When the government of Bihar launched the mission, they fixed a target of planting 24 crore trees by 2017. Where do we stand now? On the occasion of wild life week (October 2nd to October 9th), a function was organized at Sanjay Gandhi botanical garden where Mr. Nitish Kumar announced that 17 crore saplings have already been planted and there is a good chance that the target would be achieved before 2017. 8 more crore trees need to be planted at a rate of 9lac trees/day (approx) to achieve the target before 2017. It is doable but not an easy task for Forest minister- Tej Pratap Yadav and Principal Secretary of Forest & Environment- Vivek Kumar Singh who were present during the announcement. And to add on to the challenge, the CM went forward and enhanced the planned target area from 15% to 17%, i.e. approximately an increment of 800 square miles of area to be planted with trees. What are the benefits? On an average Bihar receives 1,200 mm to 1,500 mm rain annually after the monsoon arrives in the state around June 2. But, in the past 11 years, except for three years, Bihar got less than 1,000 mm of rainfall. Luckily there has been no shortage of water in the state but considering the current overall water scarcity, it makes sense to get the amount of rainfall back to its original order.The imbalance of environment has caused the change in the state’s weather pattern and planting trees will get the environment back in balance which will in turn push the annual rainfall to 1500 mm. Its always better to be safe than to be sorry! Our role? The CM stressed upon the increase in awareness about wild lives among people and underlined the importance of maintaining the environmental balance. He expressed a firm commitment to increase green coverage in the state and urged the citizens to contribute. Government of Bihar has been distributing free plants to citizens and also paying attention to protect these planted saplings. It is our duty too, to help the saplings grow and maintain the environmental balance as much as we can.