Forest deptt to start plantation on CPEC route in DI Khan

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakthunkhwa Forest Department has decided to carryout whopping plantation on the roadside of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route at DI Khan.

Raees Khan, Project Director, 10 Billion Trees Afforestation Project (10 BTAP) told reporter on Tuesday that sites for CPEC’s DI Khan route were selected for spring plantation campaign. He said Commissioner DI Khan has also inspected plantation sites of DI Khan’s CPEC route and expressed satisfaction over it.

Raees Khan said focus was being given to Peri-Urban plantations under which 1.720 million saplings each would be planted in southern circle including DI Khan, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Kohat, Tank, Karak and merged areas besides 3.280 million each in Hazara and Malakand regions during the spring campaign.

“We are also focusing on plantations on roadsides of Swat Motorway, Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway, Indus Highway, farms, unproductive lands and watershed areas besides schools, GT road, parks, universities, canals and agriculture farms in urban areas.”

Top priorities was being given to merged areas (erstwhile Fata) where its vast land would be utilized through enclosures and man-made afforestation to achieve the set target of plantation of additional one billion trees by 2023, he said.

Under Provincial Green Growth Strategy (PGGS), he said forest cover would be taken to 30 percent till 2023 from existing 26.3 percent in KP after plantation of additional one billion saplings under 10BTAP during next three years.

Raees Khan said focus was being made on plantation of indigenous trees like beer, palosa and kikar to promote honey business and about 5.24 million plants of beer would be distributed among farmers and general public during current year.

With coordination of agriculture department, he said, forest department would work on planting of olive plants for which a project has already been started to promote Chilgoza in Chitral and South Waziristan. He said 50, 000 plants of Chilgoza would be raised in forest nurseries while 20 enclosures were identified for its regeneration during current year.

Raees Khan said local communities were being engaged to supplement natural regeneration in 6, 250 forest enclosures stretched over an area of 250, 000 hectares in under-stock forest besides plantation on 111, 314 hectares during the project period.

Besides establishment of biodiversity knowledge parks, he said livelihood improvement and poverty reduction through promotion of beekeeping, honey, medical plants and other non timber forest products (NTFP) would be carried out.

Project Director said about 300 million saplings were planted under 10 BTAP in KP during last two years, adding range management plantation on 5000 hectares, sowing and dibbling on 25, 600 hectares, 1000 harvesting schemes, establishment of departmental tube nurseries on 234.489 hectares and bare-rooted nurseries on 1813.5 hectares.

Project Director said 199, 900, 000 forest plants, 2, 800, 000 fruit plants, 3, 000, 000 ornamental plants to communities free of cost would be provided to farmers, general public and national building departments to make KP lush green.