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Sindh CM orders development of forests to cope with pollution.

KARACHI -- Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has ordered the Sindh forest department to develop two separate blocks of forests each spreading over an area of 10,000 acres near Karachi and Hyderabad to control environmental pollution and improve overall environmental conditions in both cities of Sindh. He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting of the forest department, here at the Chief Minister House, said a statement issued here on Friday. The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Forest and Wildlife Asif Hyder Shah, chief conservators and other officers concerned.

The chief minister said that lands of forest department are lying barren near Karachi and Hyderabad and these cities are facing environmental pollution that is why two separate blocks of forests may be developed near them, he said. Adding that each block must be spread over an area of 10,000 acres and they should be watered through drip irrigation system. Giving presentation to the chief minister, secretary forest Sindh Asif Hyder Shah said that the total forest land in the province is 3.3 million which comes to 10 percent of Sindh's surface area. He showed a base map of 140,914 square kilometers forests which include irrigation plantation over an area of 202,622 acres, riverine forests over 595,511 acres, range lands over 1,129,000 acres and mangroves on 1,500,000 acres.

Talking about the achievements of the department Asif Shah said that mangroves have been planted over an area of 175,000 acres during the last five years. "We broke the Guinness World Record of planting trees in one day in 2009 and again set a new record by planting 8,47,275 in 2013. On this the chief minister gave him new target of planting one million mangroves in March. "I will personally launch the drive on March 23," the chief minister said. Giving details of major achievements of the forest department during 2017-18, the Secretary forest said that 21,000 acres or 8.92 million mangrove plants were planted in six month, another 21,000 acres would be planted in June 2018 and in order protect the newly plants a community watch and ward system has been developed.

He added that natural regeneration of about 180 to 200 million plants have been made. The chief minister was told that riverine forests over 5,000 acres or 100 million seeds have been broadcasted. New plantation (IP) has been made over 1000 acres which come to 700,000 plants. 12 million container plants in the nurseries have also been developed. The forest department has also carried out linear plantation over an area of 400kms.

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Publication:Regional Times (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 20, 2018
Words:490
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