KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday directed to develop two separate blocks of forests each spreading over 10,000 acres near Karachi and Hyderabad to help control environmental pollution in both cities.
The chief minister presiding over a meeting of Forest Department said that vast lands of forest department are lying barren near Karachi and Hyderabad, which both cities are facing severe environmental pollution.
Therefore, CM Sindh instructed that two separate blocks of forest may be developed near them, and each block must be spread over an area of 10,000 acres and watered through drip irrigation system.
Giving presentation to the chief minister, secretary forest Asif Hyder Shah said that the total forest land in the province of Sindh is 3.3 million acres which is around ten percent of Sindh’s surface area. This includes mangroves or coastal forests, barrage area agricultural sustainability through forestry, riverine forests, irrigation plantation and range lands.
He showed a base map of 140,914 square kilometres forests which includes irrigation plantation over an area of 202,622 acres, riverine forests over 595,511 acres, range lands over 1,129,000 acres and mangroves are approximately 1.5 million acres.
One million mangrove plantation drive on March 23
Secretary Forest highlighted the achievement of the department and said that mangroves have been planted over area of 175,000 acres during the last five years.
He recalled that they broke the Guinness World Record of planting the most trees in one day in 2009, and again set a new record by planting 847,275 trees in 2013.
The chief minister gave a new target of planting one million mangroves, and said that he would would launch the plantation drive on March 23.
Giving further details of major achievements during 2017-18, the secretary forest said that 21,000 acres or 8.92 million mangrove plants were planted in six months, and another 21,000 acres would be planted by June 2018.
Furthermore, a community watch and ward system has been developed to protect the new plants. He added that natural regeneration of about 180 to 200 million plants has been made.
CM Sindh was also informed that riverine forests covering 5,000 acres or 100 million seeds have been planted, while new irrigation plantations has been made over 1000 acres which come to 700,000 plants.
Furthermore, twelve million container plants in nurseries have also been developed, and linear plantation have been developed over area of 400 kilometres.
CM Sindh directed the secretary forest to issue notice to the lessees who have violated lease conditions, and to remove encroachment from forest land.
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