ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 18th August, 2016) : The Water and Power Development Authority Thursday launched a drive to plant one million trees during the current fiscal year. State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali formally launched the campaign by planting a sapling in the premises of the Mega Hydel Projects office. Under the drive, one million trees of difference species including Shesham, Kikar, Pine, Sukhchain, Cheer, Neem Dharek Eucaplytus, Silver Oak and Phulai will be planted in the catchment areas of Mangla and Tarbela dams, canals, drains and other completed and on-going hydropower projects.
The authority has allocated a total amount of Rs 30 million in the annual budget for the current fiscal year 2016-17. Out of total allocated amount, Rs 14 million will be spent by Mangla Watershed Management to manage the plantation of 700,000 trees in the catchment areas while Rs 16 million will be utilized for plantation of 300,000 trees by other WAPDA formations. Under the proposed plan, some 30,000 trees each would be planted in South Region, Tarbela and Mangla dams, 10,000 each Ghazi Barotha, Warsak and Chashma, 100,000 in North Region, 700,000 in Watershed Management Mangla, 25,000 in small hydel power stations (Punjab and KPK), 40,000 in Kachhi Canal and 15,000 in Northern Areas Projects including Besham.
Talking to media persons on the occasion, the minister said plantation would not only help stop silting in dams but also have good impact on the environment. He said WAPDA has been the task to play its role in making Pakistan green. Coming hard on PTI Chief Imran Khan, he said such people only wanted to create anarchy in the country. "These people have failed to deliver in their provinces and now are making lame excuses for face saving," he said.
Abid said popularity graph of PML-N government has increased owing to launching various mega development projects and attracting huge foreign investment. Recent thumping victory of PML-N in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and local government elections reposed confidence in the policies of the incumbent government, he added. He said the PML-N has a practicable development agenda and there would be no load-shedding in the country by 2018.
Abid said not a single corruption case of the PML-N government was surfaced while several ministers were removed in KPK on charges of corruption. He alleged that all contracts were given to Jehangir Tareen, a PTI leader, in KPK while Director General of Ehtesab Commission was also removed when he pointed out the corrupt practices. It is pertinent to mention here that WAPDA planted millions of trees at various project sites, including the catchment area of Mangla dam under Watershed Management Project during the last five decades. Owing to various such measures, the life of Mangla reservoir has increased to 212 years from the estimated 110 years.