Haryana government led by CM Manohar Lal Khattar has launched Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme 2023. This Life Air God Pension scheme (प्राणवायु देवता पेंशन योजना) aims to ensure adequate supply of natural oxygen in the state. This Prana Vayu Devta Pension Yojna is a major step towards ensuring clean air to breathe amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Several states including Haryana witnessed a crisis of medical oxygen recently that was needed for severely ill COVID-19 patients. The demand for oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators rose to a new high in the 1st & 2nd wave of Coronavirus crisis. In order to avoid such a deficit of oxygen supply in the future, the state govt. comes with a unique and first of its kind initiative namely Prana Vayu Devta Pension Scheme.
In this article, we will tell you about the complete details of the Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme and Oxy Van (Oxygen Forests) announced by CM Khattar on the occasion of World Environment Day.
Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme (PVDPS) 2023
On 5 June 2021, CM Manohar Lal Khattar has launched this Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme. In his speech, CM mentioned that “The state government has taken an initiative to honour all those trees which are of the age of 75 years and above and have served humanity throughout their life by producing oxygen, reducing pollution, providing shade and so on. Such trees will be identified throughout the state and these will be looked after by involving local people in this scheme.”
CM added that, “We get pure air from the environment which benefits the entire humanity. For this, Oxy Forests will be planted on land ranging from 5 acres to 100 acres in the cities of Haryana.” For maintenance of trees older than 75 years, a pension amount of Rs. 2,500 per year would be provided.
The amount of Rs. 2500 p.a would be given to the beneficiaries in the name of Prana Vayu Devta Pension Scheme (PVDPS). This tree pension amount shall continue to increase every year, on lines similar to the Old Age Samman Pension Scheme in the state. Urban Local Bodies (ULB) department would provide this pension for upkeep of the trees, installing plates, grilles etc.
How Many 75 Year Old Trees are there in Haryana
As per the state govt. officials, around 2500 trees which are 75 years or more old have been identified. The Forest Department had commissioned a survey to identify these old trees. All the village panchayats will now be paid Rs. 2,500 as pension per tree for their upkeep. This amount would be given to continue these trees grow further and serve the purpose of providing fresh oxygen to people which is necessary in fighting against COVID-19 epidemic.
What is an Oxy Van (Oxygen Forest)
Oxy Van are pieces of land identified by the Haryana govt. on which as many as 3 crore trees would be planted. The Oxy Vans will occupy 10% of the 8 lakh hectares of land across the state.
Types of Trees in Oxy Vans
According to the Haryana govt., the following are the kind of trees which would be present in an Oxy Van:-
- Chit Van – Chit Van will contain ornamental and flowering plants like the Orchid Tree (Kachnar), Indian Laburnum (Amaltas), Pride of India, Red silk cotton tree (Semal), Indian Coral, Sita Ashok, Java Cassia, Red Gulmohar, Golden Shower, Passion Flower, etc.
- Pakhi Van – Pakhi Van will house plants like Peepal, Banyan, Pilkhan, Neem etc.
- Antriksh Van – Antriksh Van will have “luck-boosting” plants like Flame of the Forest (Palash/Dhak), Jackfruit, Cluster Fig (Gullar), Amla, Krishan Neel, Champa, Khair, Bilwa, etc.
- Arogya Van – Arogya Van will have medicinal plants like Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Neem, Aloe Vera, Chebulic Myrobalan (Harad), Baheda, and Amla, etc.
- Sugandh Vatika – Sugandh Vatika will contain fragrant plants like Sugadhraj, Chameli, Night Queen, Day King, Night-blooming Jasmine (Parijaat), Champa, Rose, Honeysuckle, Passiflora etc. According to the government, the sweet fragrance of these plants will allow those who cannot see, to also enjoy the surroundings.
- Panchvati – Panchvati has cultural, mythological, and environmental significance. Panchvati literally means five trees. These trees are Banyan/Barh/Bargad, Sacred Fig/Peepal, Stone Apple (Bilwa/Bil), Aonla, and Sita Ashok. Besides mythological significance, these trees provide a lot of ecological and environmental benefits.
- Barh / Peepal Trees – Barh and Peepal are known as “umbrella trees” which provide food and shelter to a variety of life forms including birds and insects, and offer the best shade as well. They fight sound pollution due to their thick foliage, and are known for producing more oxygen than any other tree.
- Bilwa Tree – Bilwa is associated with Lord Shiva, and its leaves and flowers are offered to Him. It is also a good shady tree. Besides being a good food plant, its ripe pulp has medicinal value. It has liver-cleansing properties and removes even old plaque from the intestine, according to the government.
- Ashok Tree – Ashok or the Sorrowless Tree is associated with Sita, as it is said she spent time in Ashok Vatika in Lanka when she was abducted by Ravana. Its bark is used in urinary diseases. It is ornamental and provides shade as well. When in bloom in spring, it looks very attractive.
Oxy Van in Panchkula
Oxy Van in Panchkula district will be established in Bir Ghaggar over an area of 100 acres. The main objective is to create Mother Nature’s green lungs so that residents of Panchkula can breathe in fresh oxygen. Total cost of setting up of an Oxy Van project in Panchkula shall be Rs. 1 crore.
Oxy Van in Karnal
Oxy Van in Karnal shall come up along the Old Badshahi Canal (also known as Mughal Canal) on an area of 80 acres which would cover a total length of 4.2 km. This park will have components named:-
- Chit Van (Forest of Beauty),
- Paakhi Van (Forest of Birds),
- Antriksh Van (Forest of Zodiac Signs),
- Tapo Van (Forest of Meditation),
- Arogya Van (Healing/herbal Forest),
- Neer Van (Forest of Waterfalls),
- Rishi Van (Sapt Rishi),
- Panchvati (Five Trees),
- Smaran Van (Forest of Memories),
- Sugandh Suvaas / Sugandh Van (Forest of Fragrance).
The Oxy Van in Karnal will also have an information centre and a souvenir shop. From this shop, people will be able to buy plants at subsidized rates related to their Rashi (zodiac sign) to grow in their homesteads.
Amphitheatre in Oxy Van in Karnal
An amphitheatre will be constructed where artists can perform for the entertainment of the public. Light and sound show will be shown to the visitors covering various aspects of this Oxy Van.
Cost of Oxy Van in Karnal
The total cost of this Oxy Van setting project in Karnal shall be Rs. 5 crore. It will be a joint venture of Haryana Forest Department, the central government of India and the Municipal Committee of Karnal.
Indian Vastu Directions for Trees Plantation
As per Indian Vastu, these trees in Panchvati are to be planted in different directions. Here are the directions for trees plantation as mentioned in the Shastras:-
- East – Peepal Tree
- West – Barh Tree
- North – Bilwa Tree
- South – Aonla Tree
- Agney (South-West) – Ashok Tree
Panchvati Vatikas will be established in 134 Kurukshetra Tirthas (pilgrimages) located in Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Karnal and Panipat districts.
What is the Need for Oxy Vans in Haryana
There is a need for setting up of Oxy Vans in Haryana due to increasing vehicular and industrial pollution in urban areas. The pollution level rise results in Heat Island Effect and bad air quality. So the cities and towns in Haryana urgently need Mother Earth’s green lungs to reduce the heat effect and improve the air quality.
Chief Minister mentioned that oxygen shortage was one of the biggest problems which everyone faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. As there is no substitute for “Prana Vayu (clean air for breathing)”, this forest has been named Oxy Forest.