Over 25 lakh saplings were planted in and around Hyderabad on Monday under a massive drive taken up by Telangana government to improve green cover.
Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, state ministers, Greater Hyderabad Mayor B Rammohan, public representatives, celebrities, policemen, judges, officers, employees, industrialists, information technology companies and eminent people from various walks of life participated in 'Haritha Haram' programme.
Men, women and children actively took part in the plantation in the premises of government and private institutions, universities, colleges, parks and colonies in 7,257 square km within the limits of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA).
"Together with the amazing support of Hyderabadis, we've been able to exceed our target of 25 lakh plantation in 10 hours," said Industries, IT and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao.
Students and volunteers planted three lakh saplings at Janwada near Gandipet on the outskirts.
Former Chief Election Commissioner JM Lyngdoh participated in the programme at Pragathi Resorts, where one lakh saplings were planted. A similar number of saplings were planted in Hyderabad Central University and Deference Research and Development Laboratories.
Over 50,000 saplings each were planted in Lahari Resorts, Jayashankar Agriculture University and Jawahar Nagar.
HMDA, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and the forest department provided avenue and medicinal plants.
GHMC alone is spending Rs 21 crore on the plantation, taken as part of the state-wide programme launched on July 8 with an aim to plant 46 crore plants this year. This is expected to improve the green cover from existing 24 to 33 per cent.
The government wants to take up plantation of 10 crore saplings in Hyderabad in the next three years to achieve its goal of Green Hyderabad.
Officials said over 100 NGOs and other organisations participated in Monday's programme.
Adding glamour to the programme, many personalities from Telugu film industry planted saplings at various places in the city.
Actor-turned-politician K. Chiranjeevi, popular actors Nagarjuna, All Arjun, Daggubati Rana, Manchu Vishnu, Manchu Lakshmi and Rajendra Prasad were among those who took part in Haritha Haram.
The IT department and industry led the effort in and around IT clusters. More than 50,000 saplings were planted at various locations in the IT and financial districts including campuses of IT companies, academic and research institutions by IT/ITES professionals.
K.T. Rama Rao launched the plantation at Biodiversity Park. Saplings were also planted in Maulana Azad National Urdu University campus.
ITC's Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division contributed to the programme by planting 5 lakh saplings.
Tata Consultancy Service planted 4,000 plants in its campus.
Employees of Pegasystem, one of the IT players in Hyderabad, also actively participated in the plantation.