PESHAWAR: The spring tree plantation campaign will start in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) from February 15 and seven million saplings of different species will be planted with the assistance of education institutions, armed forces, NGOs and civil society. The campaign aims to boost forest resources in K-P.
K-P Environment Minister Wajid Ali Khan told APP on Friday that saplings are being sent to government departments, farmers and NGOs to achieve the target.
K-P has been divided in five circles, southern, watershed, upper and lower Hazara, and Malakand, where saplings will be planted over 56,771 acres with special focus on arid and semi-arid areas.
Organizations with high human and funding resources coupled with organisational interest have been identified and earmarked with a greater allocation of planting stock.
Local communities are being encouraged through their respective village developmental committees (VDCs) to help carry out most of the planting, while individual farmers will be facilitated on their farms and fields.
In the Malakand and Swat, the minister said the government is giving top priority to rebuilding infrastructure and the agriculture sector damaged by militancy and floods, providing health, education and clean drinking water to the people.
Three mega development schemes have recently been completed in Swat; 13 electrical transformers were installed in Mingora, Barikot, Charbagh, Kabal, Matta and Khwazakhela sub-divisions of Swat besides generation of short-term employment schemes.
He pointed out that the establishment of a Darul Qaza (high court circuit bench) at Fiza Gatt, approval of Cadet College Swat, and Rs276.744 million for reconstruction work on Ayub Bridge, Swat University and restoration of gas and electricity facilities are some of the major steps taken by the government for the uplift of Malakand and Swat.
The Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) was launched by the government, under which billions of rupees are being spent on improving communication, electricity, health, education, tourism, minerals and drinking water in Malakand Division.
He said under the Rs1 billion Bacha Khan Self-Employment Scheme, interest free loans on easy conditions would be offered to low income, unemployed and skilled men and women. He said forms for the Bacha Khan scheme would be available from February 15, in all branches of Bank of Khyber
The minister welcomed the appointment of K-P Governor Masood Kausar and termed it a good and wise decision to address problems of tribal people. He expressed hope that the new governor would utilise his energy for the uplift of K-P and Fata.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2011.