Punjab Forest Department, Rawalpindi Division has started growing forests by planting saplings on thousands of acres of barren and uncultivated privately owned lands under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project (TBTTP). “Only in Chakwal District of Rawalpindi Division, some 5000 kanals of such land has so far been turned into dense forests”, said District Range Forest officer of Punjab Forest Department Rawalpindi (Extension) Sher Afzal Raja. He informed that district office of range forest Chakwal would distribute 400,000 saplings among the farmers. He urged the farmers and cultivators to resettle their barren lands through afforestation and announced that the forest department would provide them saplings at the rate of Rs 2 per seedling. “They would plant these saplings in their barren lands and the forest department would help them grow these saplings in a proper way”, he said adding, millions of these plants would be given to farmers in all districts and tehsils of the division. He further said that practical measures have also been taken to expand the forests on the lands owned by the department and to protect the existing forests, which has led to a massive increase in the forest area for the first time. “Along with these practical and solid steps, we are also raising public awareness to highlight the need and importance of trees for which a massive publicity campaign has been launched,” he said. Meanwhile, Conservator Forests North, Rawalpindi Saqib Mehmood while talking to APP informed that the Rawalpindi Forest Department had planted nearly five million saplings in civil division areas during the 2020-21 financial year. He said the department was making all-out efforts to make the plantation campaigns a success as per the vision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said the prime minister’s full focus on global warming and environmental pollution was a reflection of the thinking of a genuine leader. “We will make all our efforts to make the PM’s 10 billion tree tsunami campaign a success which is the biggest practical effort in the world in this direction”, he added. He said, the hectic efforts were being made by the departments concerned as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to make all available areas green. He informed that the ‘Plant for Pakistan’ campaign had been inaugurated in the region and the forest department had planted over 3.6 million saplings in the Rawalpindi civil division in four districts of the division and over 1.3 million on private lands during the 2020-21 financial year. He said, under the campaign, saplings were being planted in government forests, on the land of several government departments, the Defence Department and private lands in the region. The conservator said that the government was making hectic efforts to mitigate the effects of pollution through aggressive plantation in the country. Saqib Mehmood informed that due to effective awareness campaigns, the trend of planting saplings had increased considerably and the citizens had started playing their due ole.