The Punjab forest department has produced more than 5 crore saplings in various forest nurseries of the state. The seedlings are ready for transplantation, which would help the state achieve the target of enhancing the forest cover from existing 7% to 15% of the geographical area of the state.
Stating this on Sunday, forest and wildlife preservation minister Surjeet Kumar Jayani said the department, which raised only 150 to 170 lakh saplings annually, had ramped up its activities and close to 5 crore seedlings were now ready in 247 nurseries of the department for plantation and supply/distribution in the ongoing monsoon season.
He said 60 lakh saplings had been transplanted in vacant places at villages across the state and the remaining plants had been planted in government institutions, departments, non-governmental institutions, adding that saplings had been distributed to farmers for agro forestry across the state.
Jayani said the state government had launched 'Green Punjab mission' last year. Under this project, 40 crore saplings would be planted within the next seven years.