MIRPUR (AJK)  -  A tree plantation drive has started across Azad Jammu Kashmir during which at least 10 million saplings would be planted throughout the liberated territory, official sources said.

In Mirpur Division, Commissioner Muhammad Tayyeb inaugurated the tree plantation drive by planting a sapling in New Mirpur City, the newly constructed abode of the Mangla dam raising project affectees.

The commissioner also inaugurated the nursery of plants constructed by Mangla Dam Housing Authority in the New City. He said that at least 10,000 saplings would be planted in Mirpur district during the monsoon tree plantation campaign. He emphasised that tree plantation is the only affective source to combat environmental pollution besides ensuring neat and clean environment.

He said that the hospital and industrial units waste and the smoke of the automobile vehicles cause environmental pollution in various parts of the district. He added that maximum tree plantation was the strong source to ensure pollution-free environment. He invited the people including the students and the staff of the national institutions to enthusiastically participate in the campaign by planting maximum trees in their respective areas to make the drive complete success.

Meanwhile, the State Forces Department sources told this correspondent that the tree-plantation campaign has simultaneously been launched by all the related government functionaries including the AJK Forest Department for which all necessary arrangements for distribution of saplings through the stipulated points across AJK have been made.

The sources said that the target of planting ten million saplings across AJK during the campaign has been fixed by the departments. Of these over a million saplings will be planted in Mirpur division comprising Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimbher districts.

The sources further said that to meet the target and to protect plants in future, people belonging to all walks of life including employees of public and private sector organizations, NGOs, students and other members of the civil society would be  engaged in the campaign. Saplings will be made available free of cost on all the official nurseries of the AJK Forest Department and the sales points, he said.