New Delhi: Following the success of the "Muzaffarpur model" of tree plantation along rural roads in Bihar, the Centre has asked all states to adopt it under the rural job scheme MNREGA to provide protection to panchayat roads and mitigate climate change.
Rural Development Secretary LC Goyal said the Ministry was impressed by the roadside plantation model which has been implemented in Muzaffarpur district wherein old, handicapped, widow and women job card holders were employed under MNREGA in raising roadside plantations.
He said that the ministry has asked the states to "adopt" Muzaffarpur model in terms of plantation of appropriate species of trees along roads constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
According to Goyal, the MNREGA job cardholders in Muzaffarpur were also involved in maintaining the plantations and the success rate of the plantation was very high.
Since the people employed under the scheme are villagers of adjoining areas, it gave them a feeling of ownership and belongingness, he said while emphasising the need for replicating the programme in all states.
In a circular dated October 19, the Ministry has asked the states to consider adopting the model "with necessary customisation".
According to Bihar government officials, the main object of road side plantation is to provide protection to road, traffic passengers, check soil erosion, food, fuel, fodder and timber to the society and mitigate climate change.
The important objective of MGNREGA is to give employment to rural people, and creation of durable assets and strengthening the livelihood resource base of the rural poor.
The plantation after 5 to 10 years will produce raw material for Agro-based industries which will generate livelihood.
The Muzaffarpur road side plantation has helped bring in changes in the lives of the people including handicapped, old poor women and widows.