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Planting trees on barren land alongside Hazara Expressway

ABBOTTABAD: Prime Minister of Pakistan’s appreciation for planting trees on barren land alongside Hazara Expressway was an honor for forest department KP which is also leading to 10 billion tree plantation drive in the country.
This was expressed by the Chief Conservative Officer Hazara circle Murtaza Shah while talking to the Media here Saturday (21st of August, 2021).
He further said that although it’s the duty of the forest department to plant as much sapling to overcome the shortage of forest in the country, appreciation of PM Imran Khan has boosted the morale of our staff and they are working with religious zeal to achieve the target of current season plantation drive.
While giving the details of Jakar Banda badland plantation drive which was admired by the PM through a Tweet Murtaza Shah said that during the 2019 monsoon drive we have planted 145000 saplings of various species including Cheer pine, Persian Pine, Robinia, Ailanthus in an area of 50 hectares while the success ratio of forest department planted saplings was 95%.
He said that both sides of Hazara expressway at various places were barren due to the construction of road and chopping the trees by the timber mafia, out teams selected three sites and started plantation with the help of locals and successfully converted badland into a lush green forest which can be seen in the pictures.
On Pawa badland Hazara Expressway, during 2020 the forest department has planted 48000 saplings where the success rate remained 90%, similarly, in the year 2021 monsoon plantation drive a total number of 147500 saplings were planted on an area of 50 hectares with a success ratio of 86% at Shahkot badland, adding the Chief Conservative said.
Murtaza Shah stated that following the directives of the provincial and federal government we had selected the hilly areas that were on brink of collapse and land sliding was a huge issue, giving the example of the three plantation sites on the Hazara expressway he said that we used natural soil-filled biodegradable bags those where we used seeds, cuttings and plants.
The Chief Conservative Officer said that the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami drive would change the fate of the country, earlier the forest restoration campaign was launched in KPK under the administration of the PTI government under the leadership of PM Imran Khan where according to a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) audit the project was a success while 872.3 million seedlings were planted, with an average survival rate of almost 89 percent, the drive finished ahead of its schedule and grew the province’s forests by 350,000 hectares, adding he said.
Sub Divisional Forest Officer (SDFO) Muhammad Shakeel while giving the details of Forest department nurseries those are providing a large number of saplings of different species for plantation in the region said that we have three nurseries where two of them including Jabrian Abbottabad and Basti Sher Khan Haripur each with a capacity of 1.2 million tube saplings and the third one Beroted with 987400 tube saplings.
He said that besides plantation of pine and other local species we have also raised 25000 fruit plants for farmers to grow their own orchards in district Abbottabad where Loquat, Peach, Apple, Plum, and Pomegranate are ready to distribute.
SDFO disclosed that the forest department is also encouraging the farmers, educational institutions and citizens to grow medicinal values plants, in this regard our nursery has also grown local species and Moringa plants and moreover we would also distribute 20000 ornamental plants amongst the educational institutions that would be planted in the schools, colleges.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.