Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) will celebrate his 66th birthday on 17 February. His son and state IT minister Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao (KTR) has requested all TRS leaders and members to plant at least one sapling each on the occasion of their leader's birthday.
On 10 February, he tweeted, "On the 17th of February 2020, Hon’ble CM Sri KCR Garu will be turning 66 As we all know his passion for ‘Haritha Haaram’ request all @trspartyonline leaders & members to make sure you celebrate & mark our leader’s birthday by planting at least one sapling each #EachonePlantOne (sic)."
Recently, the Chief Minister had expressed concerns over the increasing pollution in the state. During a review meeting two weeks ago he had directed officials to take action to protect the environment and urged people to plant more saplings to fight pollution.
Meanwhile, while appreciating KTR's initiative, twitterati suggested he instruct his party members to avoid putting up banners and cut-outs of the CM in the city. A Hyderabad resident tweeted, "Hope all party members resist the temptation to put up garish cut outs, banners and arches praising KCR in the city. Better to erect them outside his farmhouse (sic)." Another tweet read, "Also instruct your cadre not to put up flexis, cutouts (sic)."
This is not the first time that KTR has requested TRS party members to plant saplings on special occasions. In 2017, the minister had requested his party members to not waste money buying bouquets, hoardings, flex banners or advertisements, ahead of his 41st birthday. He had tweeted, “Request TRS leaders NOT to waste money on Bouquets, Hoardings, Flexis or Advertisements on my birthday. Instead, participate in #HarithaHaram (sic)."
The Telangana Ku Haritha Haaram, a flagship programme started by KCR, aims to increase the state's current 24 per cent green cover to 33 per cent. People from all walks of life, government agencies, prominent citizens, and public representatives have participated in the programme to plant saplings at their workplace, avenues, river and canal bank, barren hills, tank bunds and foreshore areas, institutional premises, religious places, housing colonies, community land, municipalities, and industrial parks.
The green initiative proposes to plant and rejuvenate 230 crores seedlings, including 130 crore saplings outside forest areas and 100 crores within forest areas. So far, 15.86 crore trees were planted during 2015-16, 31.67 crores in 2016-17, and 15.10 crores in 2017-18.