Green day: Imran Khan inaugurates ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’

Published: February 21, 2015
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Schoolgirls plant saplings at Sangara in Haripur. PHOTO: INP

Schoolgirls plant saplings at Sangara in Haripur. PHOTO: INP

HARIPUR: 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has officially kicked off the much-touted Billion Tree Tsunami campaign of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government.

While planting saplings in Makhniyal Rest House, Komal Gali and Barkot villages of Haripur district on Saturday, the PTI chief said it is imperative to launch large-scale afforestation programmes in order to protect the ecosystem and rural livelihood.

“The campaign will be a watershed effort in this regard,” he said, reiterating the intention of planting over one billion trees across the highlands and lowlands of K-P.

PTI central leader Jehangir Tareen, MPA Sardar Idrees, former MNA Dr Raja Amir Zaman and officials of the forest department accompanied Khan during the launch.

As part of the Green Growth Initiative, the government aims to plant one billion trees, increase forestlands by 22%, conduct bi-annual plantation drives and double the size of national parks over a period of five years.

Elaborating on the intended objectives of the campaign, Khan said the programme will provide government an umbrella to the tree farming industry, prevent soil erosion and thus conserve natural resources. “We will involve local communities to play an active role in the drive and create over 0.5 million employment opportunities,” he said, adding schoolchildren will be asked to volunteer for the plantation drives. The government has plans to incubate private nurseries throughout the province and will buy the required number of saplings from them at an agreed price.

Woodpeckers

Khan said the existing and newly-expanded forestlands of the province will be guarded by a new force that will be armed and trained. “Not even a goat will be allowed to graze on protected territory,” he said, adding the provincial government will soon legislate in this regard. Without naming any individuals, Khan said the government will take to task all those involved in organised unwarranted tree felling and timber smuggling.

Only six months into power, the provincial government had parted ways with Qaumi Watan Party, sacking three of its ministers including minister for forests Ibrar Hussain Tanoli over alleged corruption.

“Action will be taken across the board and the forests will be freed from the menace,” promised Khan, adding he will soon call on Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and request him to expedite judicial proceedings in timber smuggling cases so there remains no tunnel for the accused to escape.

Country roads

The PTI chairman said the party is striving to leave a prosperous province in the hands of future generations and is working on numerous fronts simultaneously. Khan said tenders have already been issued and Rs280 million has already been released for the construction of Pir Sohawa-Komal Gali Road. He said infrastructure schemes are under way in the entire province and mentioned the carpeting and widening of Sangar Gali-Rupar and Pir Sohawa-Makhniyal roads, respectively.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2015.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Nice
    Feb 21, 2015 - 11:52PM

    PTI seems to be the only political party that seems to have some energy and desire to change things around them; Very positive initiative guys!Recommend

  • A Peshawary
    Feb 22, 2015 - 12:14AM

    Please give attention to Peshawar- Torkham road which is under construction for more than three years and not half of it is not yet complete. Perhaps the authorities give a damp to the commuters and the volume of trade being done on this road.

    A PeshawaryRecommend

  • Amin Ansari
    Feb 22, 2015 - 12:45AM

    Agree fully. PTI seems to be the only party with the right policies.Recommend

  • Maria
    Feb 22, 2015 - 2:30AM

    @Nice: While I support this initiative, PTI has failed miserably in bringing about improvement in KPK. Imran Khan misjudged his Dharnas which wasted money and hurt the nation’s economy. If he can show positive change in KPK, people would have more support for him but just crying change without doing anything positive, brought him down in the eyes of most Pakistanis. he was immature and irresponsible during his Dharna phase which is why I welcome him now being more level headed and working to fix things in KPK.Recommend

  • khan
    Feb 22, 2015 - 3:37AM

    How about taking action against your own MNA Dr Azhar Jadoon who has taken control of Govt land and has cut trees on it to pave way for building a private hospital. The land belongs to govt educational department Abbottabad and situated in the area of Govt high school dhamtore. Recommend

  • Mohammed
    Feb 22, 2015 - 4:24AM

    Well done PTI, keep up the good work. You will make mistakes but your heart is in the right place.Recommend

  • Patriot
    Feb 22, 2015 - 4:36AM

    What an idiotic and fake political stunt….There is a big difference b/w saplings and trees…..IK announced 1 billion trees???….seriously its a big joke!
    There is a huge huge fund required even to plant 1 billion saplings….which includes gardeners, their monthly pays, fuel cost, soil cost, security, and so on…..and this goes till all these saplings finally reach their maturity (that may take 10 or more years).
    Most of all, did they even planned for the type of saplings they will plant, which is another very important issue.

    It can only happen in a country like Pakistan….How unfortunate !Recommend

  • Humza
    Feb 22, 2015 - 8:50AM

    @Mohammed: Who cares if PTI’s heart is in the right place when their brain is nowhere. They are only good for causing tamasha and no work. I am sure not even a few thousand saplings will be planted. He is all talk and no action. At least Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif are building the country with roads, metro bus and energy projects. All Imran Khan can give is DJ Butt.Recommend

  • zara
    Feb 22, 2015 - 9:22AM

    Pti might does a good thing here and there but they are more loud talks then substance. Agar deliver karna na aey then dont make big promises. Dont get iks attitude. Baatain he does of corruption free whatnot but he has fuedals and corrupt ppl in party. Ptians get too emotionalRecommend

  • naeem khan
    Feb 22, 2015 - 2:07PM

    the clown has started a new circusRecommend

  • Lord of the Ring
    Feb 22, 2015 - 5:32PM

    There’s no match between KPK government and the government of sinned province run by corrupt criminal waderas.
    KPK Government deserves praise. Recommend

  • pervaiz
    Feb 22, 2015 - 5:54PM

    What a joke this showbiz party always play while people of kpk need some serious steps to be taken for life improvement. Law & order situation, education, road & infrastructure are ever bad position in kpk while govt machinery is busy in money makingRecommend

  • Shaikh Mohommad
    Feb 22, 2015 - 6:31PM

    Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar joined PTI and expressed his aim to run PTI as a Political Party AND not as a one man band. I hope now Imran Khan will stop his dharnas and concentrate on Khyper-Pakhtunkhaw and make the province envy of all. Free education, free health service, etc. will make PTI and Imran Khan true leaders of Pakistan. One important point PTI should concentrate on is liberating Pakistan from clutches of America and take steps against USA regarding US drone strikes. These strikes say loudly that Pakistan is not an independent country. PTI should raise this import point. Will they? I wonderRecommend

  • Zafar
    Feb 23, 2015 - 8:20AM

    @Maria:
    You seem to be PMLN supporter in disguise. Look at the facts before uttering falsehood.Recommend

  • F Khan
    Feb 23, 2015 - 10:00AM

    Full marks to PTI and IK for this tree implantation campaign.Let us appreciate PTI where they deserve. Other provinces needs to follow.Recommend

  • Zohaib Hassan
    Feb 23, 2015 - 10:32AM

    PTI didn’t deliver and see Lahore-Karachi bullet train is already complete.Recommend

  • H Chaudhry
    Feb 23, 2015 - 9:18PM

    Got to give credit where its due! PMLN supporter here and I support and endorse this step. Recommend

  • Asif
    Feb 23, 2015 - 10:52PM

    Forestry is a long term business, taking as much as 40-60 years. Has some one told his to IK? or will he keeping finding “Dharnas”, “Forestry” like never ending hobbies to exhaust his 5 years.Recommend

  • Imad khaliq
    Jul 12, 2015 - 6:17PM

    @Asif: how much do you know about forests…i best nothing….afforestation can be achieved in five yeasrs or so…..it doesnt take 60 years..or maybe you dont know about different plant species that mature mucha faster and grow quickly…well i dont blame you..your are a patwari so u can never say anything that makes sense cos its against you nature..Recommend

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