As on date, 2,765 traffic violators across Mahbubnagar district in Telangana have planted saplings with the local police targeting 1 million saplings in police stations, residential areas and office premises.
This unique initiative is to increase the current 24% tree cover to 33% across the state as was revealed by Superintendent of Police, Rema Rajeshwari of Mahbubnagar District Police who initiated this plan. The offenders will have to plant saplings while they will also be subjected to other punishment and payment of fines for traffic offences.
This unique way of punishment was started nearly 3 weeks ago and is a part of the Telangana government’s ‘Telangana Ku Haritha Haaram’ (Make Telangana Green) program to increase green cover in the area. The reason behind this drive is also that the Mahbubnagar district also has the highest number of accident-prone zones in the country and the area has the highest number of road accidents many of which are fatal.
The effort of Rajeshwari has already seen positive results over the past 3 weeks with several traffic violators returning to water the saplings they have planted.
Traffic violators were told to plant saplings at a designated spot with a nodal officer appointed from each police station to oversee the planting and look after the saplings. Rajeshwari has also stated that the police department has commenced counseling sessions on road safety and traffic regulations for youngsters and their parents and has noted positive response. Offenders will also be punished by law depending on the kind of traffic violation.