Punjab’s uncultivated earth to convert into forests and trees

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RAWALPINDI,    (Parliament Times) : Punjab Forest Department (Extension) Rawalpindi Division has all set to start a massive tree plantation campaign in all districts and tehsils of the division with a special aim to turn all public and private unproductive barren lands into forests with the active participation of land owners.

This was revealed by the President of Punjab Forest Guards and Foresters Assocition Hafiz Sajjad in a meeting held here on Monday. The Vice President of the association Mian Imran, Distt. Range Officer Chakwal Sher Afzal Raja and other office bearers and officers were present on the occation.

“Growing forests on barren and uncultivated privately owned lands under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Movement is our prime concern”, DRO Sher Afzal Raja said adding that thousands of kanals of such private land in Chakwal District has so far been turned into dense forest.

Hafiz Sajjad said that all field staff including forest officers and forest guards of the Division have set targets to approach land owners for the purpose. He said apart from this we shall distribute millions of saplings among farming community and those who can plant and take care of them after planting. He appealed to the farmers and cultivators to resettle their barren lands through afforestation and announced that the forest department would provide them saplings at the rate of Rs. 2 per seedling. “Farmers would plant these saplings in their barren lands and forest department shall help them grow these saplings in a proper way”, he added saying that millions of these plants will be given to farmers in all districts and tehsils of the division.

Mian Imran said that field workers are not only struggling to save the existing forests from the hands of timber mafia but they are doing their best to plant and grow maximum number of sapling leaving no space empty. “Along with these practical and immediate steps, we are also raising public awareness to highlight the need and importance of trees for which a massive publicity campaign has also been launched,” he added.

They also demanded to settle the issue of up gradation of scales of employees which was lying pending since last 4 years with Cabinet Committee of Punjab.