600mn saplings to be planted in spring: minister

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said over 600 million saplings would be planted during the spring drive.

He said the government had set a plantation target of one billion trees for all the provinces in 2022. Directives had been issued that no agricultural land could be converted into housing societies, he added.

Previously, the approval for a housing society was given at the commissioner level but now, the provincial cabinet would approve such projects.

The step had been taken to make the approval to convert agricultural land for housing projects a difficult task so that the agricultural land could be protected, he added.

He said there was no master plan for any city. After 1960, no master plan was formulated for any city. But now, on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the master plans of 80 cities were being devised which would be finalised within five to six months, he added.

These plans would help contain the limits of the cities and there would be no expansion of the cities beyond their limits.

The government was encouraging the construction vertically to save agricultural land, he said.

About the installation of sewerage plants and plantations by the housing societies, he said: “The government is going to issue an order for environmental audit of all the housing societies and strict action would be taken against those violating the rules.”

He informed that urban Miyawaki Forests were being set up in congested city areas in accordance with the ten billion tree tsunami vision of Prime Minister Khan.

He said: “We have established nearly 100 urban Miyawaki Forests in Lahore and more than 100 Miyawaki Forests were also set up in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

Aslam said: “The plantation under ten billion tree tsunami project was being carried out over 9500 sites which will be uploaded on the website so that the citizens could be able to check the plantation activities. The step is being taken to ensure complete transparency for the project.”

He said more urban Miyawaki Forest projects would also be set up in Rawalpindi to provide the citizens clean and green environment.

He informed that an operation was launched earlier in Kotli Sattian and strict action was taken against those involved in the illegal cutting of trees from the forest areas.

Aslam said a comprehensive strategy was being evolved to protect the forests.

Local residents of the forest areas would be appointed as forest guards to prevent fire incidents in the forest areas. Such a project was implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which remained successful, he informed.

A plan in this regard had been formulated and the project would be implemented soon, he added.


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