Punjab to Plant 50m Saplings in Monsoon Campaign


The Punjab government has set a target of planting 50 million saplings during the monsoon tree plantation campaign that would be formally inaugurated in the third week of July and would continue by December. Provincial Minister for Forests Sabtain Khan and Chief Secretary Punjab jointly presided over a meeting to review the arrangements for the campaign, at the Civil Secretariat here on Wednesday. Addressing the meeting, Provincial Minister Sabtain Khan said that the Punjab government is taking steps to increase forests in line with the vision of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. He said that under the “Khidmat Apki Dehliz Per” programme, tree planting week is being observed across the province from July 12 to 18 and as many as 380,000 saplings would be planted during this week. The Chief Secretary said that suitable arrangements should be in place to look after a sapling after its plantation, directing the secretary forest to devise a system for monitoring the growth of plants with the help of modern technology. He mentioned that planting more and more trees is need of the hour to control environmental pollution and all departments should take active part in the tree planting drive. He said that participation of civil society and welfare organizations should also be ensured in the tree planting campaign. The Chief Secretary also issued instruction to launch a community mobilization and awareness campaign about the benefits of trees. The forest secretary briefed the meeting that during the monsoon tree planting campaign a target has been set to plant 50 million saplings in Punjab – 32 million in government forests, six million in defence department, .8 million in other departments and 11 million on private lands. He said that Plant for Pakistan Day would also be observed in the first week of August and on this occasion the forest department would distribute 384,000 saplings free of cost at the sale points. The secretaries of different departments including local government, irrigation, schools education, higher education attended the meeting while the divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners and the director generals of parks and horticulture authorities participated through video link.