The administration has announced the initiation of an extensive plantation drive, aiming to plant 1.5 lakh tree saplings across the district starting next month. Each department has been assigned specific targets for the campaign.

Additional deputy commissioner Anmol Singh Dhaliwal talking to other officials about the implementation of plantation drive in Ludhiana, on Friday. (HT)

During a meeting at Bachat Bhawan, additional deputy commissioner Anmol Singh Dhaliwal, along with South Circle Conservator of Forests Ajit Kulkarni and divisional forest officer Rajesh Kumar, discussed the implementation strategy with departmental heads.

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Dhaliwal emphasised that with the upcoming monsoon season, the administration plans to commence the drive to expand the district’s forest cover. The saplings will be planted on Panchayati lands, around village ponds, along roadsides, and on the premises of educational institutions, healthcare centres, and other departmental vacant lands to enhance green cover.

Dhaliwal urged department heads to appoint nodal officers to ensure the effective planting and maintenance of the saplings, stressing that every department must actively pursue their set targets. He highlighted the critical role of trees in environmental preservation, air quality improvement, water and soil conservation, and called for youth participation to champion the cause of a “Green and Clean Ludhiana.”

Kulkarni underlined the importance of such initiatives in addressing environmental pollution and mentioned that individuals could obtain free saplings from the forest department via the i-Hariyali app. The campaign will prioritise site-specific plants adapted to the local environment.

Kumar announced the creation of a “Nanak Bagichi,” where 500 saplings will be planted on one acre of land in Ludhiana. He also noted the availability of 19 lakh saplings of native species such as Jamun, Arjun, Amrood, Amla, Kikkar, Amaltas, Gulmohar, Semul, Tahli, and Neem across 24 nurseries in the Ludhiana circle. Departmental heads were encouraged to plant and care for at least one sapling each to benefit future generations.