The National Forest Policy of India, 1988 wants to have 33% of the country’s land covered by forests or trees. This is important for keeping the environment and ecosystems stable for all living things. The Telangana government started a program called Telangana Ku Haritha Haaram in 2015 to increase the amount of trees in the state from 24% to 33% of the land. This program aims to make the state greener and more sustainable.
The program has two main goals: one is to plant trees in designated forest areas, and the other is to plant trees in other areas. This program is unique in the world, following China and Brazil, and is a pioneering effort in India. The new Panchayat Raj Act-2018 requires every village council to have a functional nursery and create a Green Action Plan. The seedlings produced in these nurseries are used for various plantation activities. As part of the initiative, 10% of each village council’s budget is allocated as a Green Budget. Between April 2020 and January 2021, a total of 230.96 Crores was given as the Green Budget to village councils. These measures show that the government is committed to promoting environmental conservation and sustainable development at the grassroots level.
The Haritha Haram program has had a positive impact on the environment in Telangana. From 2014 to 2019, the forest cover increased by 6.85%, the tree cover increased by 14.51%, and the green cover increased by 7.7%.