Friday, December 05, 2003

Forests Dept finalises plantation drive

Forests Dept finalises plantation drive

Staff Report

LAHORE: The Punjab Forests Department has finalised a plan to increase the tree population from 43 to 71 trees per hectare.

Forests Secretary Sajid Hussain Chattha told Chief Secretary Hafeez Akhtar Randhawa at a briefing here on Thursday that the department would offer the private sector incentives to help the project, which is named Vision 2020. Under Vision 2020, 14,000 tree planters would be given 62 million cuttings and 6,000 pumps over five years, and those who plant the most trees would be given cash prizes of Rs 5,000 per acre.

Mr Chattha said a summary for granting industry status to forestry had been sent to the chief minister.

He said the department would sign tree plantation memorandums of understanding with private companies including the Southern Electric Company, ARY, Indus Motors and Husnain and Company.

He said joint ventures for forestation with schools would be launched and a memorandum of understanding would soon be signed with Lawrence College in Ghora Galli. He said the federal government would give farmers 85 million plants and the Forests Department would give them money to set up nurseries. He said Rs 240 million would be spent on planting trees along rivers and canals.

Chief Secretary Randhawa told him to ensure public participation in the tree plantation campaign and publish information on the number of trees planted and protected by the department each year

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