As World Environment Day - June 5- comes, the planting of saplings takes place in Jharkhand. Last year, scores of saplings were planted along the barren lands across the state.

A video film shows green rows of saplings fitting the grass on a new plantation drive in Namkom, about 15 km from the capital city of Jharkhand, Ranchi. It was part of the nationwide effort to significantly reduce the state’s carbon emissions by 2030.

This patch of saplings was one of the thousands of rows along the edges of this forest range in the making. This was the state government officers’ dream on June 5, 2022.

A year later, the scene is nothing less than shocking in view of the ground reality at Namkom ground in Ranchi.

It is here where “ 6000 saplings were planted on June 5, 2022.” On June 5, 2923, when a team of journalists visited the site, there were just six saplings alive. The rest had either died or vanished. Reason? 

Every environmentalist knows that newly planted saplings require more frequent watering than established trees. 

They should be watered at planting time and at least at intervals of 1-2 weeks after planting, water daily; 3-12 weeks after planting, water every 2 to 3 days; and after 12 weeks, water weekly until roots are established.

“This was not done. As a result, almost all saplings died due to lack of water. Also, watering the saplings after the plantation drive ends did not figure in the plan,” said a senior forest department officer who does not want to be named.

“Huge sums of money were spent. Media persons were called. Headlines of newspapers read thousands of saplings d
planted on World Environment Day… And the name and fame gained. That’s the end of sapling plantation by most departments, officers and others in this state where, ironically, water, forest, and land figured in prime chapters of political parties”, cribs Dinkar Manjhi, an environmentalist.

Nobody knows if the Jharkhand Energy Department’s plan to plant 10,000 saplings on World Environment Day 2023 has formulated any plan to pour frequent water.

In any case, the Jharkhand Energy Department has announced its plan to plant 10,000 saplings across the state on Monday.

As per information available in digital media,” the energy department had planted in offices and grids of the department office sites located across the state. The department is also planning to make its offices and grids green and eco-friendly by planting over 50,000 saplings by the end of this year.”

“The plantation activity involved the contribution of officials and staff of every office in the state, the director Manish Kumar is quoted having said on Monday. 

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