The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu had previously mandated that 50 percent of Visakhapatnam be under forest cover. For achieving this goal, aerial seeding was proposed. 30 tonnes of various kinds of seeds were to be sown. But the idea of aerial seeding Visakhapatnam and its surrounding areas during the monsoon has been abandoned due to various reasons.
Reportedly, the Eastern Naval Command refused to part with the helicopters due to a shortage and there was a glitch while inviting in choppers through private tenders. But it seems the government will be taking up aerial seeding in Nellore and Chittoor during the northeast monsoon.
At present, Visakhapatnam is under 35 percent of forest cover and 19 percent is under vegetation. 3 percent of the mentioned was destroyed during Cyclone Hudhud and despite efforts, only one percent of the trees could be restored. The government even introduced the Vanam Manam programme under the Haritha Andhra Mission to increase the green cover to at least 50 percent.
The existing Forest National Policy already makes it mandatory for one third or 33.3 percent of a geographical area to be covered by vegetation. Native saplings of Rosewood, Yegisa, Nallamaddi, Ganara and Neem have already been planted in 350 hectares. The target this year is to plant two crore saplings. The forest department and the social forestry division are requesting schools, colleges, private property owners, NGOs, workspaces and whoever is interested to plant trees wherever they have space.