With the compliment of Press Secretary to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Handout No.1 Peshawar 1st April 2017
The Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has said that the unprecedented success of Billion Tree Tsunami program in the Province has reaffirmed the fact that the integrity and commitment of the leadership at the top can reinvigorate every ruining organization. Addressing the launching ceremony of the 2nd third party validation report of the Billion Tree Tsunami program Saturday he said that previously Forest Department was one of the infamous organizations known for corruption and that was why he hated it the most but today due to its success he like it the most. He disclosed that when the Billion Tree Tsunami program was formulated he had asked PTI chief Imran Khan that there ware timbre mafia, land grabbers and corrupt personnel in that department thus it will be impossible for them to take the program to its success. However, he said that when they launched it with commitment and dedication, the department was rejuvenated with such a vigor that now he, Mr.Khattak like it the most. He said that he felt proud of this Department now. He said it was all due to the commitment and integrity at the top of the PTI that not only the timbre mafia has been defeated, 60 thousand kanal of forest land recovered, forest conservation, reforestation and forestations launched at an unprecedented scale. He pointed out that in the past wheels were invented for corruption and he had personally seen ministers riding bicycles but leaving in land cursers, bungalows and luxuries as they used to loot the nation’s future with different pretexts. One of such pretext in the Forest Department was the cutting of wind fall trees in the grab of which millions of millions of trees were mercilessly cut down every year, the Chief Minister pointed out. He said that one of the first things he did was that soon after coming into power, he imposed complete ban on trees cuttings including those in the name of this wind fall. He regretted that such merciless deforestation had led to floods, salinity and soil erosion but now within a short span of time not only forestation has been launched but natural growth had started in the far and width of the Province. He invited the media persons to go and visit such natural growths themselves.
The Chief Minister also announced that all those contributed to these successes in the Forest Department will be rewarded properly and directed the Secretary Forest to come up with a summary before him. The Chief Minister also announced that the continuation and conservation of the trees planted under the Billion Tree Tsunami program as well as its further extension will be included in the upcoming 5 years plan of the Province.
Addressing on the occasion, the Chairman PTI Imran Khan lauded the contribution of the personnel of KP Forest Department and its high ups including the Ishtiaq Urmar for boldly facing the challenge posed by powerful timber mafia and announced that the program will be extended to the whole of Pakistan with the help of youth particularly the ISF (Insaf Students Faderation) as “it is our future and so the youth too”, he said. He said that the 60 thousand kanal forest land recovered from land grabbers is worth Rs.22 billion/- which must be appreciated. He said that the Federal Government planted 500 million saplings in the whole of Pakistan during the past five years but KP planted 800 million within a few months and it will soon cross over the one billion targets.
It is worth mentioning that the PTI led Government on assuming Government in KP; decided to promote Governance and introduce Green Growth Economy in the Province. In this context Forestry is on top of our Agenda for which a three pronged strategy was adopted:Conservation and rehabilitation of existing degraded Forests, Development of new forests over 2% additional area to bridge gap between demand and supply and Retrieval of encroached state land and establishment of forests over it. It was revealed that as many as 808 million seedlings have been planted. The salient successes are as under:-
· Developed Forests over 170,631 ha area which is 2.3% of the KP .
· 125 million seedlings distributed and planted under Farm Forestry, which corresponds to 1, 16,000 ha compact plantation area planting.
· 199,587 ha degraded forests have been rehabilitated through regeneration, which is 2 % of area of province
· Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) through treating slips, avalanches etc
· Treatment 10,160 ha saline and waterlogged areas.
· Vacation of encroachments over 57,000 Kanal state lands.