PESHAWAR: The forest department will plant 41.194 million saplings in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the current monsoon season.

The entire province including the newly merged districts has been divided into three different regions for the plantation drive, according to a statement issued here on Wednesday.

It said that the plantation drive was discussion in a meeting, which was chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. The meeting discussed various matters for devising a strategy to make the plantation drive a success.

It was decided to constitute a steering committee headed by chief secretary to determine responsibilities of different departments and prepare a plan with timelines for the plantation drive.

The meeting decided to constitute committees at district level headed by deputy commissioners for effective implementation of the plan prepared by the steering committee. Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, administrative secretaries of relevant departments, divisional commissioners and other relevant officials attended the meeting.

The meeting was given a detailed briefing about the upcoming monsoon plantation drive. Officials said that over 25 million saplings would be planted in Region-I, over 10 million sapling in Region-II and 4.811 million saplings in Region-III.

Besides rural and hilly areas of the province, special focus would also be given to plantation in urban areas. The forest department would set the plantation target as well as specify the species of saplings for each district.

The deputy commissioner concerned would ensure effective utilisation of human resource, machinery and financial resources to carry out the plantation drive.

On this occasion, the chief minister said that all relevant departments and stakeholders would have to perform extraordinarily to make the plantation drive a historic one.

He directed the authorities concerned to ensure maximum engagement of volunteers and community in the plantation drive. He told them to focus on highways, canals, roads and riverside plantation. He stressed the need for effective monitoring system for the saplings planted during the campaign.

The chief minister said that the relevant tehsil municipal officers would be responsible for the protection of saplings planted during the monsoon drive and negligence on their part would not be tolerated in that regard.

He said that all the departments and stakeholders would be bound to provide certificates of the saplings planted by them.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2021

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