Punjab embarks on green mission

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 14, 2012 19:23 hrs

The government plans to increase the state’s forest cover to 15 per cent with help from Dehradun’s Forest Research Institute

Punjab is known for its rich agriculture production, but very little is known about its minuscule forest cover, which stands at seven per cent, in comparison with states like Uttarakhand, which has a forest cover 65 per cent.

Now, in what is being billed as the first major afforestation initiative, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has embarked on a green mission to increase the forest cover to 15 per cent. Badal on Sunday formally inaugurated the Rs 1,900 crore Green Punjab Mission in the precincts of the prestigious Forest Research Institute (FRI) here.

Under the project, the state government signed a memorandum of understanding with the FRI to achieve the goal in five to eight years with the involvement of farmers and the state forest department.

The state government has also set up a green fund for the purpose and already raised Rs 22 crore, Badal said.

From seed to trees, the MoU envisages the FRI to tackle all the forest-related problems and provide its technical expertise to farmers in the maintenance of the green cover.

“FRI will plant saplings and take care of those for three to five years,” said Badal after the signing of the MoU.

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