Massive scale tree plantation in capital
Minister says some 275,000 saplings will be planted during drive
Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar said that massive scale tree plantation is being carried out for the first time in Islamabad, in which various departments have been assigned responsibilities.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a tree-planting campaign in Islamabad on Wednesday. Several Capital Development Authority (CDA) and other officials, including Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Capital Development Authority Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan, were also present at the event.
The minister said that a tree plantation campaign involving schools, religious seminaries, traders, and housing societies has been launched for the first time. He added that some 275,000 saplings will be planted during the drive.
Umar said that all institutions will be responsible to look after the planted saplings. He added they would continue to monitor it from time to time. “We know we may not get votes by planting trees, but we will definitely provide a better environment to the next generation in Islamabad,” he said and added that a full-fledged action is being started against illegal occupants of Margalla hills while the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has already started action.
Speaking on the occasion, SAPM on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan said that the plantation drive has been going on in Islamabad for long, but this campaign is different in which all institutions have been brought together.
The primary focus is to plant indigenous plants to maintain the city’s environment, said Awan, adding that every sapling planted during the campaign would be listed on the Billion Tree Tsunami website and the real-time information about all plants will be available on this website.
The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Rawalpindi has planted 31,000 saplings during monsoon season. PHA Director Sheikh Tariq Mahmood said the authority had planted more saplings than its target during the monsoon as the authority was given a target of 18,000 saplings for monsoon tree plantation campaign while it planted 31,000 saplings.
The authority was also given a target of planting 200,000 saplings by the end of December, he said, and expressed the confidence that the target would be achieved before time. Mahmood said that the authority monitors saplings through geo-tagging after planting, as PHA DG Zaheer Anwar Jappa had given explicit instructions that saplings should be taken care of after planting.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2021.