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Posted at: Feb 13, 2018, 1:54 AM; last updated: Feb 13, 2018, 1:54 AM (IST)

Mobile app to help state become greener

Gurvinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12

To encourage people of the state to grow more trees and plants, the state government is going to launch a mobile app that will facilitate people to get plants from government nurseries with ease.

Through this app, it will be possible to check the nurseries near one’s location and also see the availability of the number of plant saplings and different varieties of plants. Besides, people will be able to book a limited number of plant saplings they want. Once the number is selected and booking done, the information will reach the forest guard or official concerned, and those saplings will be kept aside for the resident to come and pick up.

This application is an extension of the mobile app ‘iHariyali’, which was launched around two years ago in Ludhiana. Then, plant saplings were booked and distributed for free through the app.

Saurabh Gupta, Chief Conservator of Forests, said the app was a big step towards helping residents get the plants they wanted with ease. Through this, they would also be able to select the available plant species they wanted. It would encourage them to get more plants for their households as well.

Vishal Chauhan, Divisonal Forest Officer, Nawanshahr, who was DFO in Ludhiana when the mobile app was launched in the district, said it was great that the app had been extended to benefit people in all districts of Punjab. He said the app, when used in Ludhiana, had helped residents get plants from nurseries. It would stand them in good stead, serving as a conduit for residents, Forest Department and nurseries.

According to sources, the app would be launched on March 21 to commemorate Forest Day.

Sources in the department said it was also planning to make a mobile app to curb damage to forests and prevent the violation of rules. The app would help people to report any damage to forests and violation of forest protection laws. It would be possible to post pictures or voice clips regarding violations to the state Forest Department through the app and they would receive information of the coordinates of the site of complaint, allowing the team to reach the spot and take immediate action, as per sources.

When asked if it would be possible to report about damage to trees in areas falling in municipalities, an official said though the Forest Department would take action in areas falling under the department, in case of any complaints in municipalities, these would be forwarded to the municipal authorities concerned.

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