Related Projects

Ownership-Based and Action-Oriented Afforestation ProgramDuration: 2013-2014 Sponsor: MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) Partners: MSRTC

The survival rate of the saplings planted during an afforestation drive is only 30 percent on an average. This could be majorly attributed to the lack of technical knowledge, scientific planting of the trees/saplings and appropriate nurturing of the saplings, until they are stabilized. To address this concern, TERI in collaboration with MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) and MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) implemented a project titled “Ownership-based, action-oriented afforestation program”.

The primary objective of the program was to ensure maximum survival rate of the afforested plants by instilling a sense of ownership. The second objective of the program was to generate awareness on sustainable practices, which could be implemented at individual level. Since the transport sector is a major contributor to global emissions, awareness of environmental issues amongst the stakeholders of transport sector at grass root level is of utmost importance. Hence, the whole exercise was undertaken with active involvement of officials from the MSRTC.

Employees of MSRTC planting a sapling at the Kalwa bus depot, Thane

After the launch of the program in October 2012, three bus depots of MSRTC at two locations, Thane (Kalva and Khopat) and Uran, were shortlisted and selected for project implementation. A total of 225 trees were planted at these locations with “One Employee One Tree” approach for adoption of the saplings. Apart from this, more than 500 trees were distributed amongst the MSRTC employees and they were advised to plant the saplings in the backyards of their homes or in their hometowns. Owing to lack of space at the depots, more than 750 saplings were provided to the Khaniwali gram-panchayat of Wada. A total of 1500 trees were afforested under this project. TERI’s team visited the plantation sites after every two months to record the status of the saplings.

In order to make the program more effective and to inculcate a sense of responsibility in every participant while ensuring maximum survival rate of the plants, a competition between the two locations was organized. Further, to induce mass awareness and involve maximum participation in the programme, TERI conducted a series of workshops for the senior officials of MSRTC. TERI also conducted an online quiz, and organized, essay and drawing competitions as part of the project.

It was heartening to note that the survival rate of the saplings was almost 100 percent as the plants were consciously nurtured at the locations. Taking a cue from the project concept, MSRTC officials at the Uran depot started a small composting unit within their premises. At the Thane depot, employees used worn-out brake liners to make a hedge to protect the saplings. Innovative techniques like drip irrigation using waste pet bottles were also adopted, especially during summer. TERI’s project management team visited the sites periodically throughout the year to check the status of the saplings.

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