28th October 2017 19:11:43 Hours
The Army-initiated ‘Ranaviru Haritha Arana’ programme, to be in consistent with the ongoing national ‘Wana Ropa’ project, declared by HE the President in accordance with ‘Haritha Gammana’ concept, got to a formal start this morning (27) in the Army farm at Kandakadu, Kantale by planting some 1500 saplings of rare species.
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army, commencing the initiative as the Chief Guest for the occasion, symbolically planted the first sapling and inaugurated the Army ‘Ranaviru Haritha Arana’ project, together with Major General Nandana Senadeera, Commander, Security Forces - East (SF-E), Major General Manoj Mudannayake, Commander, Forward Maintenance Area - East (FMA-E), Major General Wajira Palihakkara, Colonel Commandant, Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps (SLAGSC), officials of the Ministry of Environment, Mahaweli Development Authority, Ceylon Electricity Board and a host of Senior Officers of the Security Force Headquarters - East (SFHQ-E) who were present for the inauguration.
Recital of the national anthem followed by the environmental song set the stage for a brief speech on the motive of the day’s programme of national importance in the Kandakadu farm premises.
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, taking a personal interest in this regard, encouraged all island-wide Army formations to use their additional land space inside their camps for this worthy purpose of national importance. Accordingly, many formations across the country took to tree planting practice, including the Kandakadu and other farms.
During his pause in the Kandakadu Army farm, the Commander, enthusiastically strolled along the premises and saw for himself how vegetable beds, paddy fields and plants have been laid and organized, using carbonic manure at very less cost. He also had a close look at the saplings of different varieties under cultivation and how Army personnel are working on the farm.
Brigadier Buwaneka Gunarathne, Director, Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock of the Army, accompanying the Commander around the farm, explained him of latest harvest generating methods and techniques that have been used by soldiers to match up with fast developing new agro-innovations.
Around 300 Army personnel are at work on the Army farm at Kandakadu under the Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock of the Army Headquarters.
HE the President Sirisena early in October announced the ‘Wana Ropa’ (planting of forests) national drive, a three-year program to increase the forest cover to one third of the country’s land area. It is expected to go along with the ‘Punarudaya’ (renaissance) drive, a broader program to promote sustainable development. Forest coverage of the island has reportedly dwindled rapidly due to de-forestation in the past few years.
In parallel with the same Kandakadu programme, Mahaweli Development Authority, together with Army personnel under the SFHQ-E planted a stock of rare saplings along the 9 km long roadside stretch between Seruvawila - Somawathiya road.
Students from Galkanda Maha Vidyalaya and Sinhapura Vidyalaya also contributed to the programme.