Chief Minister launches 62nd Van Mahotsav in Pavagadh

Published By : Admin | July 31, 2011 | 21:47 IST

Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi launched 62nd state Van Mahotsav today from the famous pilgrim place Pavagadh by planting a sapling here on the site named Virasat Van (Heritage Forest).

Virasat Van will be developed with the people's participation in the area of 6.5 hectare in the foothills of Pavagadh. Since 2004, Chief Minister Mr. Modi has initiated to develop a series of ‘cultural forests' in the state. Virast Van is the eighth one in this series where trees of 30 different types will be grown beautifying the entire area of Pavagadh hills.

On the occasion, Chief Minister asked people to actively participate in ‘Vave Gujarat' campaign and exhorted people to plant two trees on the birth of a girl child in their families. He said the same trees will yield them enough money for the marriage of their daughter. He also expressed desire to make Gujarat greener by infusing love for the trees in the people across the state.

Chief Minister said the materialistic western culture has destabilized the nature but the Indian tradition believes in the principle of ‘Chhod ma Ranchhod' (Tree has god in it). Living in harmony with nature is the only way out from global warming, he said.

“Van Mahotsav is meant to love and worship the nature. The state government does not want it to remain merely a government programme but wants to involve people in it. And so, it has developed different type of forests with the theme of various elements of our culture so that people can relate to it”, he said.

Speaking on the occasion Forest Minister Mr. Mangubhai Patel said that there are 1300 different medicinal trees being seen in Gujarat. There is a need to take more care of these trees. In a novel concept, the state government has grown various forests like Smriti Van, Rashi Van, Nakshatra Van and others while the forest department is also working for the greening of the urban areas.

Social Justice Minister Mr. Fakirbhai Vaghela said that every religion has considered the tree sacred. He expressed faith that the people of the state will enthusiastically involve themselves in this forestry campaign.

Principal Secretary Mr.S.K.Nanda informed that at present there are 16 trees per hectare in the state and 4.6% of the area outside of forests is green. State government wishes it to increase to 20 and 6% respectively.

Van Pandit' award was given by the Chief Minister and other dignitaries to all those farmers who contributed greatly for the nurturing of age-old trees.

Minister of State for Forest Mr. Kiritsinh Rana, Minister of State for Tribal Welfare Mr. Jaswantsinh Bhabhor, MLAs Mr.Jethabhai Bharwad, Arvindsinh Chauhan, Chief Forest Conservator Dr.Jagdishprasad, District Collector Mr.Manish Chandra, Government office bearers and people in large number were present on the occasion.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a vibrant public meeting in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, invoking nostalgia and a forward-looking vision for Himachal Pradesh. The Prime Minister emphasized his longstanding connection with the state and its people, reiterating his commitment to their development and well-being.

“When the country didn't even know Modi, I was among you. Times have changed, but Modi has not changed. Modi's relationship with Himachal remains the same,” PM Modi remarked.

Highlighting his continuous engagement with the state, PM Modi sought the people’s blessings for a third term of the BJP government. He said, “Today, I have come to seek your blessings for the BJP government for the third time. I need your blessings to make India strong, to make India Viksit, and for a developed Himachal. Five phases of elections have already taken place in the country. A BJP-NDA government is assured. Now, Himachal will score a hat-trick with a 4-0 victory. Vote for those who will form the government. What is the point of wasting your vote? So, say with me, ‘Phir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkar.”

Addressing the strategic importance of Himachal Pradesh, a state bordering the frontier, PM Modi underscored the necessity of a robust government. “Himachal Pradesh is a state bordering the frontier. The people of Himachal understand the importance of a strong government. Modi will risk his life for you but will not let any harm come to you. The weak Congress government used to plead around the world. Modi says, why should India go to the world? India will fight its battles on its own.”

The Prime Minister also highlighted the infrastructural developments under his administration, contrasting them with the previous Congress regimes. “This is the same Congress that left the border areas of India to their fate. Modi has given many times more money than Congress. Today, hundreds of kilometers of new roads have been built along the border. Today, the lives of soldiers and our people living near the border have become easier.”

PM Modi highlighted the successful implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme, a long-standing demand of military personnel fulfilled under his leadership. “Congress made military families yearn for One Rank One Pension for four decades. Congress used to say they would bring OROP by showing just 500 crores. This was a huge insult to our army because it was impossible to implement OROP with just 500 crores. It is Modi who has implemented OROP. Modi has given about 1.25 lakh crore rupees to former soldiers through OROP. That's why people say, Modi delivers what he guarantees.”

PM Modi also spoke about sensitive issues, accusing Congress and the INDI alliance of undermining the reservation system and conspiring against the Ram Temple. “I have come today to warn the people of Himachal about another conspiracy by Congress and the INDI alliance. These people want to completely abolish the reservation for SC-ST-OBC and give it to Muslims. Congress is also opposing the Ram temple. You people of Himachal tell me, did you feel good visiting Ram Lalla? But Congress cannot tolerate the Ram temple. Congress is conspiring to lock the Ram temple. Will you allow the Ram temple to be locked?”

Reaffirming his government's commitment to development, PM Modi listed the various initiatives taken for Himachal Pradesh, including the establishment of prestigious educational institutions and infrastructural projects. “No one thought that institutions like IIIT, IIM, and AIIMS could exist in Himachal. But with Modi, it is possible. Himachal has received a bulk drugs park and a medical device park. Himachal is among the first states in the country where the Vande Bharat train started.”

“Modi has guaranteed to make 3 crore sisters associated with self-help groups ‘Lakhpati Didis.’ Modi has also brought a big scheme to make your electricity bill zero. With the ‘PM Suryaghar Muft Bijli Yojana’ your bill will be zero, and you will also earn thousands of rupees. Just as Modi has fulfilled previous guarantees, Modi will fulfill these guarantees as well,” he added.