After many counter attacks on the biggest mega project of the PTI government in KP’s "Billion Tree Tsunami" by the opposition parties & finally after the initiation of a Parliamentary Committee by Speaker of Provincial Assembly KP, we, a group of Female MPs from the treasury benches decided to visit one of the spots of this mega project to have an eye witness account of the progress that has taken place in actuality.
Almost travelling approximately one and a half hour from the city of Peshawar, (KP) Pakistan, we reached Chandan Ghari. It was a hilly, rural place where to our amazement, hundreds of villagers welcomed us. The day was specified to plant almost 15,000 plants. The Minister of Forests Mr Ishtiaq Urmar, District Commissioner Peshawar, Some school students & a large number of community volunteers were gathered to participate.
Phase wise plantations as part of the “Billion Tree Tsunami” initiative are usually held at Chandan Ghari. So far, 4,509 kanal land has been utilized with above 1 lac plantations in this small village while 1 lac kanal land is still in planning to be apart of this green belt.
Real satisfaction noticed from community when one of the elders addressing the gathering mentioned the benefits of this mega project to the local community. He mentioned engagement of locals as a human resource. He said it's a blessing for them as their income improved with this project. Almost 600 people has been engaged from the same village. He mentioned that they are getting proper compensation for their land & they also voluntarily look after as the forest’s security measure. The only complaint was non availability of Sui Gas facilities, which Minister Urmar promised for would be provided ASAP. DC Peshawar also announced weekly medical camps for the villgers. This land was occupied by terrorists in and used as a talibanization hub but PTI's government has effectively utilized it to tackle climate change which had also been a blessing for the local community.
While driving over the entire forest, the estimated length was almost 10km and the lands were lush green with different species of plants. Greenery was every where your sight focused. The unique arrangement of a water reservoir & typical facilitation of watering were used to sustain the project. Of all the after effects of this new greenery was the difference in temperature, as compared to urban Peshawar, temperature was much pleasant with pure oxygen. Fairy meadows, treks, wild life and many other natural beauties were witnessed which never we had expect in District Peshawar.
As per the conversation with Minister Urmar, he has the intention to make a National Park there. The accompanying colleagues suggested that the place is best for any media shooting, instead of using international locations, through proper marketing , entertainment media may rush to this natural beauty. This location is best to be a picnic spot for Peshawarites & people from nearby cities. A calm place for nature lovers & away from crowded city, a relaxing point for weekends.
This is just a small part of the “Billion Tree Tsunami”. The initiative was launched in 2014, by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan, as a response to the challenge of global warming and is recognised ed by the World Ecnomic Forum. Completing all the 350,000 hectares of tree restoration may take years, but it’s a process that is bearing fruit already. As for criticisms, this project been monitored by World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan. There was an independent audit conducted that proved and declared this project as an environmental, economic and social success. But yes, seeing is believing, opposition’s duty is to oppose & criticise but patriotic Pakistani's may visit the sites any time to witness the wonders themselves and then decide.