Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], January 4 (ANI): The Punjab Government managed to clear the illegal encroachments at 18,946 acres of forest area thereby resulting in an overall increase in the forest cover in the state by 2,872 acres, said an official.
Forests, Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities and Printing and Stationery Minister, Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, while addressing the press conference at Punjab Bhawan on Monday, said that the Punjab government led by Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, was firmly committed to promoting greenery in the state and was taking appropriate and effective steps in this direction.
Dharmsot applauded the efforts of the officers and employees of the forest department who in collaboration with the district administrations on the guidelines of the state government managed to clear the forest land from illegal encroachments.
He said that according to the latest Forest Cover Report released by the Centre, the forest area of the state has increased by 2872 acres which shows that the programs implemented by the state government are moving towards success.
The department has planted over 77 lakhs indigenous varieties of saplings in 12,986 villages of the state and established 432 'Nanak Bagichis' with the cooperation of public to mark the 550th Parkash Purab of the first Sikh Guru Nanak Dev ji.
He said that similarly to commemorate the 400th Birth Anniversary of Guru Teg Bahadur ji 60 lakh saplings planted in the state. "During the regime of present Captain government saplings were planted under the 'Puncampa' scheme over the lands measuring 34988 acres besides providing subsidies to the 1292 farmers of Kandi areas worth Rs 8.29 crore for fencing work, therefore enabling them to protect their crops from the wild animals."
Similarly, in the last four years under the agroforestry scheme, a subsidy of Rs 10 crore over 115.96 Lakh saplings has been transferred in the Aadhar linked bank accounts of 10,204 farmers.
He said that Beas, Keshopur, and Nangal wetlands were announced as international-level RAMSAR sites besides the induction of Chhat Bir zoo as a member of the World Association of Zoo and Aquariums. (ANI)