Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday gave the nod to sending officers of the forest department abroad to undertake further studies "for the preservation of plants in a scientific manner" under the state's Greening Punjab Mission.
The decision was taken at a review meeting of the mission under which 40 lakh saplings of various species of plants would be planted in all government institutes and villages across the state as part of the green mission, a spokesman here said.
Badal asked the forest department officers to carefully choose the plants according to the topography of different regions of the state; besides, asking them to play a proactive role for transforming the campaign into a mass movement.
The chief minister also approved projects worth Rs 16 crore regarding the number of plants to be raised in departmental nurseries, plantation on different government institutional lands, five new projects for improving urban forestry and imparting education to the citizens by creating pockets of forest near Rupnagar, Amritsar, Patiala, Ludhiana and Bathinda, establishment of common facility centre at Talwara for increased value addition of local products, bio-drainage plantations for waterlogged areas of southern Punjab and research works at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, and Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute, Bengaluru, the spokesman said.
The chief minister also gave nod to the annual plan outlay (2015-16) of Rs 67.95 crore for biodiversity conservation and management, which included development of sanctuaries, zoological parks and deer safari, special projects, including development of Bir Kullemajra, Bir Ashwan, Bir Mehes, Rampura Phul, Rakh Bahru, Hargobindpur, Malwa project and others, forest protection and fire control by creation of fire lines and other related measures, silviculture operations, pruning and others besides undergoing new plantation of forests in 2,495 hectares of land and maintenance of 7,033 hectares.