Patna: After Chief Minister Nitish Kumar donated a month`s salary for a green Bihar campaign, his cabinet colleagues and legislators are also coming forward to donate their salaries for the cause.
Bihar Water Resources Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary and Human Resource Development Minister P K Shahi donated their August salary for the green cause in the state, an official in the Chief Minister`s Office said on Tuesday.
"Some more ministers will follow them soon," the official said.
Officials said, Industry Minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha, Rural Development Minister Nitish Mishra and Rural Work Minister Bhim Singh, all from the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) have expressed their willingness to give their one-month salary for the green Bihar campaign.
JD-U legislator Sanjay Kumar Singh also donated his salary to the campaign. "More than a dozen JD-U legislators are likely to donate their one month salary for it within a week," an official said.
Nitish Kumar last week flagged off the Harit Bihar Abhiyan Rath Yatra and urged ministers and other legislators to donate a month`s salary for it. The campaign seeks to involve members of the JD-U in planting trees and creating awareness among people.
"I have requested legislators to donate a month`s salary to help the campaign to achieve its target," Nitish Kumar said.
The JD-U has decided to plant five million saplings over the next two-three years and increase the state`s green cover.
State JD-U president Vasishth Narain Singh said, the party has asked each of its members to plant at least one sapling.
Last month, the Chief Minister kick-started the green drive from his native village, Kalyanbigha, in Nalanda district. He made the planting of a sapling mandatory for JD-U members for membership to be renewed.
The drive is an initiative of Nitish Kumar, who was impressed by Dharhara, a small village 230 km from here in Bhagalpur district.
The village hit the headlines two years ago, when the villagers resolved to plant fruit trees, including mango and litchi, to celebrate the birth of every girl child there.
According to official data, only 6.87 per cent of Bihar is under forest cover. Forest officials admit that Bihar lost most of its green cover, when Jharkhand was carved out of it in 2000. Undivided Bihar had a forest cover of 17 per cent.