The Forest Department, Punjab, would distribute 25 lakh free saplings during 2017-18 to the various institutions so as to maintain ecological balance and bring Government as well as other institutions under green cover.Disclosing this, the Forest and Wildlife Preservation Minister, Punjab, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot said that the department would distribute the saplings under 'Punjab Mission Scheme' to the educational, social, religious institutions apart from military and para military forces. He also said that it would be mandatory for the concerned institutions to carefully nurture the saplings so as to fulfill the purpose of increasing greenery.The minister further said that the department has also formulated a comprehensive plan to prepare herbal garden at Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Bathinda and Patiala during 2017-18 besides having medicinal plants at appropriate places. He divulged that under the scheme during current year, a total of Rs. 1.25 crore would be spent.Dharamsot further elaborated that a project plan worth Rs. 8 crore concerning agro-forestry has been sent to the Union Government for approval which aims at bringing maximum area in the state under forest cover and increasing the income of the farmers. He also said that as per the project, the farmers would be encouraged to plant saplings on their land holdings and they would also be provided financial assistance for the purpose.The Minister also detailed that the department has established 2 modern nurseries at Hoshiarpur and Patiala during the course of previous 3 months in order to prepare good quality saplings for plantation to increase forest cover. He also said that the department under 'Green Punjab Mission' has got prepared 180 lakh saplings of different types in various nurseries.