A massive tree plantation drive will soon be launched to make Punjab green and clean. This will be part of the Rs 54.67-crore Green Punjab Mission for the current fiscal 2021-22 approved here on Monday.The approval was granted at the meeting of the Steering Committee of Green Punjab Mission, chaired by the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan.The Chief Secretary asked the Forests department to plan free distribution of 25 lakh plants to the public to involve the people in the mission to increase green cover in the state.The Chief Secretary also directed the Forests department to create 101 new bagichis (nurseries) after the name of first Sikh Guru Nanak Dev ji in urban areas, 128 pavittar van (forest areas) after the name of ninth Sikh master Guru Tegh Bahadur ji on the panchayat and forest lands in the state’s hinterland, and 12 forest and nature awareness parks during this financial year.Referring to the revamped Mission Tandrust Punjab launched by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on the World Environment Day, the Chief Secretary said Green Punjab Mission was one of the most important sub-missions to achieve the objective of health and well-being of the citizens of Punjab by mitigating the effects of impending climate change.
“All the plantation activities must be completed in the current monsoon season with the maximum involvement and support of people, communities and various stakeholders,” she asked.Financial Commissioner Forests, DK Tiwari, apprised the Chief Secretary that the department had planted one lakh tall trees last year in collaboration with the NHAI and this year also, efforts were being made to plant one lakh more trees on 5 different stretches of highways passing through Punjab.It was also informed that Mata Amrita Devi Bishnoi Memorial in Abohar was completed at a cost of Rs 3.15 crore and opened to the public.In another greening project, Green India Mission, which specially targeted Kandi and Shiwalik foothills in the state, assisted natural regeneration works in 2375 hectares of area spread across Mohali, Ropar, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur will be carried out to increase the green cover in the Shiwalik foothills.
In order to improve the income status of local communities putting up in Shiwalik foothills, a sum of Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for income generating activities such as skill development training of local youth so that their livelihoods can be improved.Principal Secretaries KAP Sinha (Finance), Raj Kamal Chaudhary (Planning), PCCF VB Kumar, Chief Wildlife Warden RK Mishra and APCCF (Development) and CEO Mission Tandrust Punjab Saurabh Gupta also attended the meeting.
VIRASAT-E-DARAKHAT TO PRESERVE 100 OLDEST TREES
An innovative scheme Virasat-e-Darakhat was mooted at the meeting to protect and recognise the contribution of old and heritage trees in the state. It was decided that 100 oldest trees of the state will be identified, preserved and will be maintained and promoted by the Forests department under the Green Punjab Mission in the first phase.