Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the Assam government's mega plantation drive, stating it will boost the country's mission for clean and green growth, besides providing long-term benefits of environmental protection and improving the health of people.
He said the exercise will also further enhance the green cover of the scenic State.
In a letter to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on the State's 'Amrit Brikshya Andolan', the PM wrote: "The idea of planting one crore saplings across Assam is admirable and laudable."
The letter was shared by Sarma on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday.
Modi said several references in the nation's culture and literature reflect the importance of trees and forests, and quoted a couple of Sanskrit lines on how trees purify the air and help in driving away diseases.
He maintained that bringing together 'prakriti' (nature) and 'pragati' (development) has been the hallmark of the development model of "New India".
"While we have been the fastest growing economy, we have also been perhaps the only major nation to meet committed climate targets," the PM said.
He said initiatives like this plantation drive will further bolster the national mission for clean and green growth.
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"It will also lead to several long-term spin-off benefits for environment protection and in improving the health of people," he added.
Mentioning the rich biodiversity and diverse ecosystems in Assam, Modi said, "The plantation of saplings on private and community-owned lands will go a long way in enhancing the green cover in the scenic state."
The involvement of the local communities in the drive will "foster the spirit of 'Jan Bhagidari' (people's participation) and bring a sense of ownership and environmental stewardship among the people", the Prime Minister added.
The State government is undertaking a drive to plant one crore saplings across the State, during which it is also seeking to create nine world records in different segments concerning the exercise.