Sikkim State Observes ‘Ten Minutes to Earth’ [9.15 am to 9.25 am] June 25, 2010
June 25, 2010: Conceptualized and initiated by the Chief Minister Mr. Pawan Chamling last year, the plantation drive called Ten Minutes to Earth where every citizen of Sikkim is to dedicate ten minutes of their time in plantation of tree for the protection of the environment. Mr. Chamling who last year announced that this day to be celebrated as an annual festival in the state stepped into its second year.
This year’s ‘Ten Minutes to Earth’ kicked off from 9:15 am till 9:25 am where people were appealed to devote ten minutes time of their lives towards environment.
Terming the ‘programme as ‘innovative’, the Governor said that ‘Ten Minutes to Earth’ is in the highest traditions of the Indian civilization values. It is a people’s programme where every Sikkimese person participates on the same day and at the same time, he said. Through this programme, Sikkim is lighting a lamp for restoration of ecology and may this lamp guide other States of India and world, said Singh.
Last year, the State forest department had claimed that around six lakh saplings had been planted under the ‘Ten Minutes to Earth’ programme and these saplings would be able sequester about 1400 tons of carbon di-oxide annually. “This year, the planting should be more than six lakhs and we will continue to observe ‘Ten Minutes to Earth’ programme every June 25”, said State forest minister Bhim Dhungel. He said that the department is giving more attention towards maintenance of planted saplings this time. We are giving more focus on the maintenance part and we have formed a task force for this, he said.
State forest secretary ST Lachungpa said each of the four districts of Sikkim have been allocated 1.5 lakh saplings by the department. The saplings were distributed free of cost to the people, NGOs, schools and other institutions free of cost by the department through various distribution centres, he said.
Conservator of Forests (Territorial) Pradeep Kumar who is the nodal officer for State Green Mission and ‘Ten Minutes to Earth’ informed that the focus is on indigenous plants like rhododendrons and local trees like Chaap, Cherry, Guava and Pompsey. In urban areas where spaces are limited for people to plant trees, we are giving ornamental flowers and shrubs like Azlia where they can plant in pots, said Kumar. He informed that some educational institutions and Science Centre at Sajong have been given medicinal plant saplings for plantation. He said that saplings have been distributed as per the climate of the areas in Sikkim. We have given Silver Fur saplings in high altitude areas, he said. Schools in and around Gangtok also participated in the programme with great enthusiasm.
Speaker Mr. K.T Gyaltsen, Minister for Forest Mr. Bhim Dhungel, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs Advisors to the Government of Sikkim, Chief Secretary Mr. T.T Dorjee, HODs of various Departments along with the officials of the Forest Departments also participated in this plantation drive. More than five hundred saplings of Rhododendron were planted in the 4 km stretch from Ganesktok to Tashi View Point.
This plantation drive was observed all over the state and according to the information received from the official of the Forest Department more than 6 lakhs sapling of various kinds were planted during this second phase of ten minutes to earth programme, by students, government employees, people from various association and general public all over the state.