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Accelerate pace of plantation to increase forest cover: Lal Chand Kataruchak

Chandigarh: The Punjab Government led by the Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann is according priority to increasing the forest cover in the State so as to ensure a healthy environment for our future generations. This was disclosed by the Forest and Wildlife Preservation Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak today at forest complex in Sector-68, Mohali while chairing a review meeting of the department.

The Minister exhorted the officers to leave no stone unturned in accelerating the pace of plantation across the State.

Emphasizing the significance of plantation initiative, the Minister said that the success of plantation project would go a long way in ensuring a healthy, cleaner and greener Punjab. He also quoted renowned poet Late Shiv Kumar Batalvi in this regard.

On the occasion, it was brought to the notice of the Minister that till date with regard to this year, as many as 67 lakh saplings have been planted including 51 lakh under PUNCAMPA scheme alone. The Minister directed the officers to conduct a review meeting once a month to monitor the progress of the plantation scheme.

Coming down heavily on the illegal encroachments on the forest land, the Minister directed that a comprehensive plan should be made to get such encroachments removed. He also sought a detailed report on the illegal constructions on the forest land. On the issue of construction of toilets in the nurseries across the State, the Minister said that this is a very important measure undertaken by the department and should be given top priority. He also directed that promotions wherever required should be made on time as a morale booster for the employees.

The Minister also batted for the development of the Harike wetland as a tourist site and preserving the various species and it was brought to his attention that as part of the efforts being made in this regard, a proposal under Project Dolphin has been submitted to the Government of India so as to conserve this species. On the issue of rescuing animals, the Minister was apprised that animal ambulance is proposed to be brought in at Rupnagar, Ferozepur and Bathinda for this purpose.

The Minister was also informed that all the field officers have been directed to make sure that the up to the Ranger level; all the employees wear the uniforms which would give them a distinct identity.

Among others present on the occasion included the Financial Commissioner (Forests) Vikas Garg, PCCF R.K. Mishra, Chairman Punjab State Forest Development Corporation Ltd. Rakesh Puri, MD Punjab State Forest Development Corporation Ltd. Dharminder Sharma, APCCF (Admin) Saurabh Gupta, and the DFOs.

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