Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, Minister for Forests said that under the ‘Green Mission’, the Punjab Government has set a target of increasing forest cover in the state by planting 2 crore new saplings.The Minister after presiding over a high level meeting of the officers of the department said that the department is contemplating a plan to acquire land alongside roads and to plant saplings on this waste land. He said that after plantation the care of such saplings would be handed over to concerned Panchayats, Schools. He said that the department is searching suitable locations in Punjab where plantation can be executed and forests could be set up. He said that the department is also contemplating to use open stretches of land in Abhohar and Fazilka for this purpose.Emphasizing on the need of developing Forest Tourism in Punjab, the Minister said that a beautiful park has been set up a Nabha, similarly land stretches have already been identified in Balachaur to set up parks.
He said that blue print of setting up big park in Khatkar Kalan has been approved.Mr. Dharamsot said that under new plan now sapling of the height of 4-5 feet would be planted because dwarf saplings could be destroyed by stray animals and traffic. He said that direction to all the nurseries in the state have been issued to ensure that during plantation the height of the sapling would be 4 to 5 feet.He said that Punjab Government has initiated a campaign to plant saplings over 8000 hectare of land in the year 2017-18. He said a Nature park would be set up at Mattewada, Ludhiana to sensitize public about the advantages of forests, wildlife and environment.Kuldeep Kumar, Principal Chief Conservator, Mr. Dharminder Sharma, Chief Conservator, Mrs. Shailender Kaur, Conservator southern circle and Mr. Charanjit Singh.