GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - A group of 25 ex-Servicemen belonging to 135 INF BN (Territorial Army) Eco Assam led by Colonel BP Segan called on Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at his official residence late evening yesterday and apprised him about the slew of initiatives taken by it to extend the green cover in the State.
Colonel Segan apprised Chief Minister Gogoi that his battalion called ‘Green Rhinos’ comprising ex-Servicemen has been making significant contribution in extending the green cover in the State through its massive afforestation drives by involving the Joint Forest Management Committees, NGOs, school and college students. “Our mission is to make Assam not only greener, but greenest State in the country,” he said, adding that the ecological task force has taken up the task of planting saplings in 900 acres a year as set by the Environment and Forest Department.
Colonel Segan said that the eco task force set up in 2007 has earned laurels by bagging several prestigious awards in the environmental field that included, among others, the Guinness World Record for planting 40,885 saplings in an hour in 20 hectares in Chirang Reserve Forest in Kokrajhar district, the Best Environmentalist Award and The Times of India Social Impact Award.
Colonel Segan also apprised the Chief Minister about other activities of the eco task force, such as nursery management, preparation of vermin-compost, infrastructure development, awareness programmes, plantation and cleanliness drives, said an official statement.
Chief Minister Gogoi lauded the efforts of the eco task force to plant more and more trees to make mother earth lush and verdant at a time when the impact of climate change is being felt everywhere. “At a time when climate change is affecting us all, your task is more challenging. We want our State to be lush and green for sustainable development and for the present and future generations,” he added. The Chief Minister hoped that the eco task force would earn more laurels and scale new heights in the field of environment in future.
Earlier, Colonel Segan presented a coffee table book on the eco task force and a golden statue of Gautama Buddha.