PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Tuesday inaugurated the monsoon tree plantation campaign by planting an oriental chinar tree on the premises of the Peshawar Zoo.
A statement issued here said that the step would be followed by a comprehensive plantation campaign at regional and district levels.
Figures provided by the forest department indicate that 12.5 million saplings would be planted during the current monsoon season, out of which 3.451 million would be planted in the central southern region-I, 4.152 million in northern forest region-II Abbottabad, 0.843 million in Malakand forest region-III and 4.935 million in the merged districts.
Speaking on the occasion, Mahmood Khan said 1.208 billion plants had been raised against a target of one billion during the previous tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf government in the province which was made possible by the efficient management, dedicated teamwork and active participation of the community.
He said the federal government had embarked on a challenging task to plant 10 billion saplings during the next four years, out of which the KP government would plant one billion trees.
The chief minister said in addition to plantation, the government had also taken pragmatic steps against timber mafia, thus bringing to halt deforestation in the entire province.
Mahmood Khan said thanks to the previous billion tree project of the provincial government, the forest cover in KP had increased by 6.3 per cent along with provision of job opportunities to over 500,000 people.
He said a committee had been formed to investigate the incidents of forest fires and fix responsibility accordingly.