AJK begins Spring Tree plantation drive – 2020;

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Target of plantation of 10 million saplings on over 20 thousand acres of land across AJK,

Altaf Hamid Rao,

MIRPUR,(Parliament Times)):     The Spring tree plantation campaign was launched in Azad Jammu & Kashmir on Sunday At least 10 million saplings are targeted to be planted on an area of 20 thousand acres of land throughout the liberated territory of AJK during the campaign, a senior official of the State Forest Department told this Correspondent here on Sunday. AJK minister for power development Ch. Rukhsar Ahmed inaugurated the tree plantation drive in Mirpur at a ceremony hosted by the State Forests Department. The minister planted a sapling of ‘Chaheer’ launching tree plantation drive in Mirpur division Former AJK minister Ch. Muhammad Saeed also joined the drive by planting a sapling of fruit tree on this occasion. The ceremony was chaired by renowned Kashmiri social worker and newly-elected President of AJK NGOs Coordination Council Dr. Tahir Mahmood. The dignitaries representing various walks of “At least 1.50 million saplings would be planted in all three districts of Mirpur division through the State Forest Department, private and public sector institutions, educational institutions, Pak Army jawans and the volunteers including students and teachers”, Divisional Forests Department officer Raja Imran Shafi disclosed on this occasion. Speaking on this occasion, the Chief Guest – Minister For Power Development Organization Ch. Rukhsar Ahmed said that since forests were always considered the back bone of economy of the country, it was enjoined upon the people across AJK to enthusiastically participate in the tree plantation drive by planting at least one tree in their respective area for making the tree plantation drive complete success.

Plants are the major source to ensure the polluted-free environment besides a strong source to save the land from erosion, Rukhsar said. Speaking on this occasion, the chair – Dental Surgeon Dr. Tahir Mahmood emphasized the need for maximum involvement of all segments of the civil society, NGOs and the private and public sector departments to make the tree plantation drive complete success. He suggested that in order to meet the target and to protect plants in future, people belonging to all walks of life including employees of public and private sector organizations, NGOs, students and other members of the civil society should be engaged in this campaign as maximum as possible. The Forests Department has made adequate arrangements to ensure the availability of the saplings of all sorts free of cost on all the government nurseries and the stipulated points. Of these over 1.50 million saplings will be planted in Mirpur division comprising Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimbher districts. The department has also emphasized for the protection of the forests through due collective and individual role by the concerned departments as well as the individuals from all segments of the civil society and the private and public sector institutions.