Distribution of free saplings, marathons and awareness events marked the World Environment Day in Coimbatore on Wednesday.
The 5-km run started at the VOC grounds and ended in the same spot. The PGH is targeting to plant 50 lakh saplings this year. Apart from this, plantation drives were organised by Isha in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruchy, Vellore, Madurai, Erode, Salem and Villupuram districts.
Swami Srimukha, co-coordinator of Isha Agro Movement, said that PGH, an initiative by Isha Foundation, is aimed at increasing the green cover of Tamil Nadu by ten percent through planting trees.
“So far, more than 3.5 crore trees were planted by over twenty lakh volunteers. Also, awareness programmes for school students, farmers and public were conducted across Tamil Nadu,” Srimukha said. In 2006, 8,56,000 trees were planted in just 3 days by over 2.5 lakh volunteers, earning the project a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Similarly, the Coimbatore Corporation along with Siruthuli, an NGO, and volunteers from 'Namma Covai,' a WhatsApp group organised a tree planting drive at the 650-acre Vellalore dump yard. Around 300 people from various institutions, NGOs, colleges and corporate firms planted 800 saplings at the Vellalore dump yard. Avenue trees namely Pungan (shade tree), Naval (fruit bearing) and Sarakondrai (flowering tree) were planted in the yard. A drip irrigation system has been installed by Siruthuli to water the saplings.
The active involvement of youngsters to safeguard the environment was appreciated by district collector K Rajamani and corporation commissioner J Sravan Kumar at the event. They also reiterated on the importance of waste segregation at source to facilitate better waste management. Several private institutions and environmental NGOs organised various awareness events on the day.