Chief minister Lal Thanhawla plants a cherry blossom sapling in Aizawl on Tuesday. Telegraph picture
Silchar, July 27: Cherry blossom will soon add to the scenic beauty of Mizoram.
The state government launched the first ever cherry blossom avenue plantation programme in Aizawl yesterday.
Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla laid the foundation stone of the cherry blossom avenue, a joint initiative of Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) and the state government, at the state capital with a view to promote eco-tourism and sustainable development.
Lal Thanhawla planted the first sapling of the cherry blossom at the New Secretariat Complex in Aizawl. He said an extensive tree plantation programme had been carried out in the state since 1998.
Lakhs of trees were planted across the state under the Green Mizoram programme with a view to conserve the forest, which is very vital for addressing the issues like climate change, he said.
The chief minister expressed his hope that cherry blossom avenue programme would also help the state in reaping the benefits in the near future.
Lal Thanhawla pointed out that though Mizoram has a good forest cover, its dense forest was only around 0.65 percent of the total area of the state. He laid stress on quality planting especially in the villages of the northeastern state.
Explaining the concept of the programme, Dinabandhu Sahoo, director of IBSD, an autonomous institute under the department of bio-technology of Union ministry of science and technology, said Mizoram’s climate was suitable for different trees, including cherry blossom, and thus the programme was launched.
He added that a cherry blossom festival also could be organised in the coming days in the state and it would attract many people from within and outside the country.
Cherry blossom, popularly known as Sakura in Japanese, is also considered a symbol of peace and tranquillity. Japan’s cherry blossom festival is very famous and draws tourists from different countries of the globe.
The country has been planting cherry blossom trees for the past many years.
Sahoo said cherry blossom is considered to be native to the Himalayas, but different other countries like the US, Holland, Brazil, Turkey, New Zealand, South Korea, Germany, Australia, among others, had adapted the concept and built cherry blossom avenues in their respective countries.
Sahoo, who is spearheading a movement to promote cherry blossom in India, said the avenue plantation programme in Mizoram would not only enhance the sustainable eco-tourism, but also would provide employment opportunities to the youths.
The IBSD, under the leadership of Sahoo, had organised cherry blossom festivals in two northeastern states – Manipur and Meghalaya – last year.
The IBSD director said the United Nations had declared the Year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and thus the launching of the programme in Mizoram would help the state in getting a special place globally.