Rajahmundry: Amid the ongoing 'Godavari Pushkaram' here, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has stressed that the river is clean and assured it would be protected in future as well.
"Our Godavari is the 'best' river. Unlike Ganga and other rivers, Godavari is not polluted. It has clean water and serves best for crops. We will protect Godavari in future. Godavari is our lifeline and we want to pray to Godavari to give us more prosperity," Naidu said at a meeting with irrigation officials at Arts College ground here last night.
He was reacting to Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar's remark on cleansing of Godavari.
Javadekar, who took a holy dip at the VIP ghat here yesterday during the ongoing 12-day Pushkaram festival, had spoken about the Centre's efforts to tackle pollution.
"The Centre has already taken steps to clean river Ganga and all necessary steps will be launched to clean river Godavari also," he had told reporters here.
Appreciating Javadekar for his 'crucial' role in forging TDP's alliance with the BJP during the elections, Naidu informed that he had recently met the Union Minister who said that Amaravati, the proposed new capital of AP, was in bifurcation benefits list.
Nearly 15,000 acres were allocated for the capital by the Centre. "We need some (land) in West Godavari and Rajahmundry. In Rajahmundry, land is costly. I want 3,000 to 4,000 acres here. Similarly, in Tirupati too," he said.
Naidu said under the Nagaravanam scheme, 300 acres of land in each city is allocated for afforestation.
"Andhra Pradesh would have 15 cities in 13 districts. There is need to provide lung space in cities," he said.
The population of Andhra Pradesh was five crore and there would be 50 crore plants in the state at a rate of ten for every citizen, he said.
Before the Pushkaram, the state government spent about Rs 3 to 4 crores to plant trees on roads and the job was executed by Kadiam Nursery near here, he said adding that it is important to have school nurseries (of plants and trees) and?create awareness about greenery among children.
On the renowned Kadiam nursery, he said, "In the coming days, we will make it as the best nursery globally."
Naidu also said he was confident that required funds would be released for the beautification of Kolleru lake in West Godavari district which attracts migratory birds every season.
The Chief Minister felicitated Javadekar on the occasion.