Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today launched the third phase of his government's ambitious tree plantation drive here. Aiming to increase green cover in the state from present 23 per cent to 33 per cent, the TRS government's target is to plant 40 core more saplings under the programme, 'Haritha Haram' (green ornament), this year. As many as 47.53 crore saplings had been planted across the state in the earlier phases, the government's Information and Public Relations Department said. Urging the citizens to take up tree plantation, Rao said the government has announced awards for significant contributions in the green campaign. 'Green Brigades' would be formed to protect the planted saplings, he said, adding as many as 523 organisations or individuals would get the awards. Talking about other issues, Rao said his government has hiked social security pensions and maintained that north Telangana would get irrigation facility upon the completion of Kaleswaram project. Efforts are on to achieve the government's targets, including supplying tapped drinking water to every household, 24-hour power supply, providing irrigation facility to one crore acres and offering Rs 8,000 per acre to farmers towards meeting input costs, he said.
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