By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 24, 2018: In a move to keep sharing of water from Mahanadi between Odisha and Chhattisgarh alive and kicking, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday launched ‘Green Mahanadi Mission’ apparently aimed at protecting the natural flow of Mahanadi River, the lifeline of Odisha.

The campaign was launched from Boudh and Subarnapur districts where massive plantation drives will be carried alongside the Mahanadi River.

Official sources said nearly 2 crore saplings will be planted under the Green Mahanadi Mission with an aim to keep the river clean and its embankment green.

While addressing the gathering during the launch of the mission in Manamunda, Patnaik said it is the responsibility of all the people of the State to protect Mahanadi.

Besides, plantation drives will also be taken up along Ib and Tel rivers, the tributaries of Mahanadi, forest and environment minister, Bijayshree Routray said.

Odisha government has targeted to spend Rs 500 crore in next five years under the ambitious project.

“The drive will rejuvenate Mahanadi, Tel and Ib rivers by increasing recharge capacity and checking soil erosion,” said Odisha Assembly Speaker, Pradip Amat.

As per reports, saplings will be planted in over 41,000 hectares of land in five years.

The plantation drive will be carried within one km radius of the banks on both sides of Mahanadi, Ib and Tel rivers. Primarily, several fruit bearing trees including jackfruit, mango and jamun will be planted.

However, opposition parties slammed the move saying that alleged that such a project only will serve the interests of a few contractors.

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