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Haryana Launches ‘Van Mitra’ Scheme to Boost Green Cover

In a significant move towards environmental conservation, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated the ‘Van Mitra’ scheme and its accompanying portal. This innovative initiative is designed to foster community engagement in afforestation efforts, specifically targeting non-forest areas across the state. The scheme aims to empower local communities to play an active role in expanding the state’s green cover, thereby enhancing the survival rate of newly planted trees and promoting the planting of trees outside traditional forest zones.

Scheme Eligibility and Incentives

Eligibility Criteria

The ‘Van Mitra’ scheme extends an invitation to members of families with an annual income of less than Rs 1.80 lakh to participate in this green initiative. Eligible individuals aged between 18 and 60 years can register to become ‘Van Mitras,’ embarking on a mission to contribute to the state’s afforestation efforts.

Financial Incentives

Participants in the ‘Van Mitra’ scheme stand to receive monetary incentives based on the maintenance of the plants. The scheme allows each ‘Van Mitra’ to plant up to 1,000 saplings, offering a structured incentive program that rewards the care and growth of these plants over time. In the first year, participants will receive Rs 20 for each prepared pit, verified through geo-tagging and photograph uploads. Subsequently, Rs 30 will be awarded for each sapling planted, with additional payments for ongoing maintenance and security of the saplings at different rates over the subsequent three years.

Implementation Phases

Phase One

The initial phase of the ‘Van Mitra’ scheme will see the selection of 7,500 participants through the scheme’s portal. These ‘Van Mitras’ will have the flexibility to choose non-forest lands within their localities for tree planting, including lands in their villages, towns, or cities. Notably, if a ‘Van Mitra’ plants a tree on their property, they will retain ownership of the tree, underscoring the personal investment and benefit of participating in the scheme.

Training and Execution

In its first year, the scheme will focus on registering ‘Van Mitras,’ providing them with necessary training, and commencing the tree planting activities. This approach ensures that participants are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills required to successfully contribute to the scheme’s objectives.

Financial Structure and Exit Plan

The ‘Van Mitra’ scheme offers a detailed financial incentive plan to encourage the sustained maintenance of planted trees. Participants will receive payments for the initial preparation of pits, planting, and subsequent maintenance of the saplings. The payment structure is designed to reward long-term commitment, with decreasing monthly payments over a four-year period to incentivize the ongoing care of the plants.

Should a ‘Van Mitra’ decide to withdraw from the scheme, the Forest Department will assume responsibility for the trees, ensuring their continued growth and contribution to the state’s green cover.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Haryana Capital: Chandigarh;
  • Haryana Chief minister: Manohar Lal Khattar;
  • Haryana Governor: Bandaru Dattatreya;
  • Haryana Flower: Lotus;
  • Haryana Formation: 1 November 1966.

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