Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], May 4 (ANI): Punjab will launch a massive afforestation plan by planting 53 lakh saplings on 692.645 hectares at the cost of Rs 222.15 crore in the state, according to the state government.
The plan will help further greening of the highways with tall plants, habitat improvement in Bir Moti Bagh and development of Siswan community reserve during the current fiscal.
The plan has been approved by the state chief secretary on Tuesday and will be executed under the annual plan operation (APO) for 2021-22 of the Punjab State Compensatory Afforestation Monitoring and Planning Authority (CAMPA) of the Forests and Wildlife Preservation department.
The approved plan will be placed before the Union Government for funds allocation.
"Acting on the directives of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the committee approved the purchase of the wood-saving devices for forest fringe villages of Kandi areas at the cost of Rs 408 lakh. Besides, a fully automated cattle pound would be constructed in Patiala district at the cost of Rs 210 lakh along with a demonstration plot of bamboo for farmers at an outlay of Rs 392.95 lakh would also be made," reads a state government release.
The Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said "An afforestation drive would be initiated to mitigate the impact of air pollution in nine polluted NACs like Dera Baba Nanak, Mandi Gobindgarh and Ludhiana at an outlay of Rs 307 lakh. Besides, afforestation would be undertaken on the area of 5,401 hectares under the NPV component at the cost of Rs 9,970.25 lakh."
"In the last five years, the Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation has contributed to greening and biodiversity management efforts in the state by planting 20,631 hectares of government forest land under the flagship programs of CAMPA and 1,178 hectares of non-forest institutional lands under the Green Punjab Mission in a mutually exclusive manner to enhance the ecological health of the Punjab Landscape," said Anirudh Tewari, Additional Chief Secretary Forests.
He further said under the NPV component, plantation of 4,458 hectares and maintenance of 8,606 hectares of the previous year were successfully carried out under various plantation models at the cost of Rs 5,419.8 lakh.
"7,481 cooking connections, 182 community solar cookers and 788 solar lights on village phirnis (boundaries) were provided in the forest fringe villages of the Kandi areas, which has helped to reduce the biotic pressure on the forests," added Tewari. (ANI)