The Forest and Wildlife Minister, Punjab, Chunni Lal Bhagat today reiterated the resolve of the state government to make Punjab a Green State. He said that the Punjab has taken a path breaking initiative in the form of 'Greener Punjab Mission’ that will focus increasing green cover to 15 percent.He also said that the state under this Mission has set the target of plantation of 4.75 lakh saplings each year throughout the state for next 8 years continuously. He said that in the current financial year the department has earmarked an area of about 20,000 hectare in which 4.75 lakhs will be planted with an investment of Rs.122.42 crore. He further stated that nurseries will also set up for cloned plants of Popular and in this regard the area shall be extended up to 300 hectare.
The Minister while elaborating said that during the current financial year the department has given a facelift to the forest beats falling within in the state so as to bring maximum area under their cover. He said that the department has surveyed 9000 villages of the state to explore the possibility concerning free land holdings belonging to other departments and also village panchyats, so that this mission could be given further impetus. The Minister said that to protect the various areas in the state falling under green cover the state has also recruited adequate number of forest guards.He said that during recent past the department has been instrumental in planting 1.32 crore saplings. He also elaborated that the saplings are produced in the 252 nurseries of the state.