RAWALPINDI/TAXILA: More than 85,000 saplings were planted in Rawalpindi city and Attock district at various events held to mark Tiger Force Day on Sunday.
The district administration and the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) planted more than 25,000 saplings in different areas of the garrison city.
Deputy Commissioner retired Capt Anwarul Haq inaugurated the tree plantation at the Mujahid Reserve Forest by planting a sapling along with volunteers from the Tiger Force and forest department officials.
Students from government-run schools had also been invited to participate in the plantation effort.
Some standard operating procedures (SOP) to limit the spread of Covid-19 were implemented, but social distancing was not practiced.
Mr Haq said at the event that the district administration was working to clean the city and has planted trees in public areas and on main roads in this regard.
He said tree plantation is necessary for climate change. In the next few years, he said, the city will be green because the present government has launched a massive campaign to plant trees.
The PHA also held an event at Allama Iqbal Park, previously named Nawaz Sharif Park, in Shamsabad. The event was attended by Tiger Force volunteers and PHA officials.
Adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister on Tourism, Parks and Horticulture Asif Mehmood inaugurated the tree plantation by planting a sapling.
He said: “The PHA is working to fulfill the dream of Prime Minister Imran Khan to turn cities green. Trees will be planted on Khayaban-i-Sir Syed and the G.T. Road in the next few days.”
He said all the parks in Rawalpindi and in other districts in the province will be improved in the coming days, and the government is working to provide a clean environment and end pollution.
A beautification drive has been launched in the city and plants will be planted along all roads and in markets soon. He urged people to play a role in the plantation effort and “adopt a single tree”.
60,000 trees planted across Attock district
There were 60,000 trees planted across Attock district on Sunday to mark Tiger Force Day, with two events held in different towns to mark the day.
One ceremony was held at the proposed site for Air University near Kamra, which Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam kicked off by planting a sapling.
The campus director retired Air Vice Marshal Faheem Irshad Lodhi, Punjab Public Accounts Committee Chairman Syed Yawar Abbas Bokhari, PTI Punjab spokesperson Qazi Ahmad Akbar, Deputy Commissioner Ali Anan Qamar, PTI Attock focal person Syed Khawar Abbas Bokhari and a large number of volunteers and individuals attended.
Mr Aslam said 3.5 million saplings will be planted in one day across the country, including 60,000 in Attock, by engaging the country’s youth in green initiatives launched under the Clean and Green Pakistan programme.
He said the government will use the services of the Tiger Force volunteers to improve the condition of shelter homes and engage them in the plantation effort.
The district government has been asked to plant 60,000 saplings to mark Tiger Force Day, he said, adding that the government is committed to meeting the target to plant 10 billion saplings in the ongoing monsoon plantation drive.
Mr Aslam said Pakistan is the fifth most vulnerable country to climate change. He referred to a World Bank report on climate change, saying that if action is not taken six districts - Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpur Khas, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan - will be under threat of becoming uninhabitable by 2050.
Another tree plantation event was held at the Mother and Child Hospital organised by the District Health Authority. Syed Yawar Abbas Bokhari kicked off the plantation.
The district police also joined the plantation initiative with an event at the district police lines. Mr Qamar was invited as the chief guest.
Separately, Punjab Minister for Revenue retired Col Malik Mohammad Anwar kicked off the plantation drive by planting a sapling in Pindigheb.
In Hazro, Mr Akbar from the PTI planted a sapling at the municipal committee and announced that 50,000 saplings would be distributed among town residents for free so they could also participate.
In Taxila, MPA Ammar Sadeeq Khan and local administration officials and volunteers planted saplings in Railway Park.
Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2020