Minister of environment and forests Jairam Ramesh today unveiled a `Green India Mission', which would assess green cover in India on an ongoing basis rather than through monitoring of expenditure.
The Green India Mission (GIM) will use a family of satellites for real time monitoring of the country's green cover. The mission has a preparatory phase of one year.
While the other eight missions under India's National Action Plan announced by the prime minister have ongoing programmes, Jairam said the new mission is an opportunity for capacity building and a variety of other services.
"The target is to increase 5 million hectares of forest and non-forest land and improve quality of forest cover on another 5 million ha of non-forest lands. Over the next ten years, it will be 10 million ha," the minister said while addressing a brain storming session of Green India Mission in New Delhi today.
He said the mission is a continuation of the project for extending green cover to 5 million ha of wasteland every year, launched by the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in January 1985.
"We are far behind from the original objective. We should work on realistic and credible targets and achieve them," the minister said while reiterating "we have to think differently for this work."