In a step aimed at providing green lungs to district Ludhiana through afforestation, the district administration has decided to start a special drive for planting 4.25 lakh tree saplings across the district from this month.Starting one-month long Van Mahotsav by planting saplings near Tiger Safari, here, Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma said that the forest department has already set its wheels in motion for starting this ambitious drive and added that the sole aim of the drive is to ensure maximum green cover in the district through the planting of trees.He said that with the advent of monsoon season today, the administration has planned to kick off this drive for increasing the area under forest cover. He told that these saplings would be planted on Panchayati land, the strips around village ponds, on sides of the roads, educational institutes, health care centres and others to be used for enhancing the green cover.He said that even individuals can receive the saplings free of cost from the forest department through the i-Hariyali app. Deputy Commissioner disclosed that last year, more than 80,000 saplings were distributed among people through this app.
He said that the administration would take care of the saplings planted for the coming three years to ensure their proper upkeep. He said that special focus has been laid on planting site-specific plants so that they can grow well in a conducive environment.The Deputy Commissioner said that this drive has been embarked in consonance with the commitment of the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to encourage people to plant more and more trees for making Punjab clean, green and pollution-free. Sharma said that such campaigns are need of the hour to check environmental pollution in the state.Soliciting the support of people in this noble cause, Sharma called upon them to plant and upkeep at least sapling for the sake of their coming generations.Meanwhile, SBI General Manager Sumit Phakka said that SBI would also plant 2.15 lakh saplings in its circle in the next 10-days and also planted the saplings.Prominent among present on the occasion, Assistant Commissioner (UT) Dr Harjinder Singh Bedi, District Forest Officer Harbhajan Singh and others were present.Later, Deputy Commissioner also interacted with representatives of CityNeeds, various NGOs, educational institutions, social and Industry organizations and environmentalists for carrying out plantation drive in the district.