Patna: Bihar government on Tuesday approved a proposal for plantation of six crore saplings over the next five years to increase the forest cover of Bihar from present 9.79 per cent to 15 percent, an official said.

The decision was taken in this regard at a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Principal Secretary (Cabinet Coordination and Secretariat) Ravikant told reporters.

Under the afforestation scheme, 3.6 crore poplar saplings and 2.4 crore of other varieties will be planted, he said that the farmers and local people entrusted with responsibility for ensuring survival of the saplings will be paid Rs 15 per tree in the first year and Rs 10 each in the next two years, he said.

Under the incentive for survival of the saplings, an amount of Rs 210 crore will be spent, Ravikant said.

Among other important cabinet decisions, the state government sanctioned Rs 201.95 crore for literacy and welfare schemes of eight lakh mahadalits and OBC women and four lakh women of the minority community aged between 15 to 35 years, he said.

Children of these sections aged between 6 to 14 years will also sent to schools under this scheme, he said.

The state government has approved a proposal under which a Bengaluru-based NGO Akshaya Patra Foundation will provide Mid-Day Meal (MDM) through centralized kitchen system as per the Swiss Challenge Approach to select schools in Patna and Muzaffarpur district, he said.


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