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Fawad blames past rulers for smog crisis every winter in Lahore

Fawad was addressing the inaugural ceremony of Green Day Plantation. Source: APP.

JHELUM: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain blamed past rulers of Punjab for causing substantial damage to its capital city’s green cover which had adversely affected air quality in Lahore.

“We see Lahore engulfed in fog in every winter due to past rulers of Lahore who cut trees for building a jungle of concrete which badly affected forest cover of Lahore and its surroundings, Punjab and overall Pakistan,” he said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Green Day Plantation.

He said before PM Imran Khan, there was no discussion on the environment in the country due to lack of leadership which could have stressed on forestation and eco-friendly activities in a way as by the prime minister with full devotion.

Fawad said it seemed that those who built palatial palaces might have forgotten that there would be suffocation while living in those big concrete buildings. “For preventing suffocation, it was imperative to plant and grow trees,” he added.

The minister said the billion tree tsunami project became public knowledge for the first time when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government first came to power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. When PM Imran Khan took oath, the first project announced by him was of planting 10 billion trees in the country, the minister added.

He said the prime minister always stressed that only a true leader thought of future generations instead of the next elections. The entire emphasis laid by PM Imran Khan on environment was mainly about the future generation of Pakistan, he added.

Fawad said it was the prime minister’s vision to leave behind a safe and secure environment for the generations to come as there had already been an increase in respiratory ailments and deadly diseases like cancer due to the least focus of past rulers on environment.

He informed that a forest spanning over 10,500 acres of land in Jhelum has been preserved by the present government. As many as 26,000 trees were planted on 35 acres land of Bajwala jungle when the prime minister announced a mega tree plantation campaign in 2018, he said, while pointing to extensive plantation of eucalyptus saplings there recommended by the relevant district forest department due to salinity.

He announced to plant 20,000 trees on 25 acres land and felicitated officers of district administration and forest division and locals and students for their active participation in the plantation drive. Urging the students to look after the saplings through intermittent visits in future, he asked them to leave any mark around the plant they were planting so that they could identify them later.

Extending gratitude to the envoys of different countries for attending the Green Day Plantation, the minister said, “I hope you will be able to tell this beautiful story that how these children actually contributed in a big way towards environment.”

“Environment is an issue that is not only related to one country or to the one community, so the tree planted here actually affects the environment of Europe as well because this is the whole world which gets affected by the environment,” he added.

The minister also shed the light on the mega projects carried out by the present government in Jhelum. He said the Lillah-Jhelum dual carriageway would be completed soon and the economy of Jhelum and adjacent areas would entirely change after the completion of the road project.

He said Jhelum was not getting its due share from tax net when he contested election but now they have ensured projects worth Rs 70 billion for the tehsil of Pind Dadan Khan and Jhelum during the last three years.

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