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LAHORE: Punjab Irrigation Minister Mohsin Leghari has called for planting indigenous varieties of trees instead of invasive ones such as Eucalyptus in the five-billion-tree plantation campaign.

After planting a tree at the Punjab Irrigation Engineering Academy here, he stressed that people should prefer local instead of foreign varieties of trees during the five-year campaign started by the federal government. He also said the Punjab government would replicate the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s billion-tree initiative by planting a large number of trees all over the province.

The minister said the irrigation department would lay special emphasis on planting trees along canal banks. He was displeased at the fact that trees planted along canal banks over the last two decades had disappeared leading to erosion and breaches.

He pledged to rectify the situation in collaboration with the forest department.

Irrigation Secretary Sher Alam Mehsud said they were taking over from the forest department the control of tree plantation along the banks of one major canal as a pilot case.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2018