Rawalpindi : Punjab Forest Department (Extension) Rawalpindi Division has started growing forests by planting trees on thousands of acres of barren and uncultivated privately owned lands under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami programme.
“Only in Chakwal District of Rawalpindi Division, 5,000 kanal land has so far been turned into dense forest,” said District Range Forest officer of Punjab Forest Department Rawalpindi (Extension) Sher Afzal Raja on Wednesday.
He was briefing the Adviser to the Chief Minister Punjab Asif Mehmood and Vice Chairman Parks and Horticulture Authority Rawalpindi Malik Abid Hussain in a ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by the students of different schools, colleges, members of Rotary Club International, Farmers and private land owners.
Sher Afzal Raja told that district office of range forest Chakwal will distribute 0.4 million saplings to the farming community. He appealed to the farmers to resettle their barren lands through afforestation and announced that the forest department would provide them saplings at the cheapest rate of Rs2 per seedling.
“They 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.
He further said that practical measures have also been taken to expand the forests on the lands owned by the department and to protect the existing forests, which has led to a massive increase in the forest area for the first time.
"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 been launched," he said.
Adviser to the Chief Minister Punjab Asif Mehmood and Vice Chairman PHA Rawalpindi Malik Abid Hussain appreciated the efforts of Sher Afzal Raja and other staff of Range Forest and said that if every responsible officer works with the same enthusiasm and passion, there is no reason that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ten billion tree tsunami would not complete in the shortest possible time.
They said that we have to give a safe environment to our future generations for which every citizen should take full part in tree plantation. Later on, Asif Mehmood and Malik Abid Hussain planted saplings along with others on this occasion.