PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Forest Department after achieving beyond one billion tree plantation target under the Billion Tree Tsunami project has planted 196 million saplings across the province under the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project.

Project Director 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Raees Khan said that around 150 million more saplings were ready to be planted in KP. According to official media, the project director said that the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami was successfully continuing and planted saplings were being monitored to ensure maximum survival rate of plantation. He said the saplings were installed across the province to boost its forest cover.

Raees Khan said the standard operating procedures (SOPs) were being issued for strict monitoring of the plantation to make sure that the project is completed successfully with full achievement of desired objectives.

Raees Khan further said that no one was allowed to cut down trees in the province under a clear policy of the provincial government of zero tolerance in this regard.

The project director said that special guards were deputed to take care of the plants and the plantation enclosures were set up in every plantation site guarded by its watchmen locally known as negehbans. He said over half a million such jobs were generated under the project. He said that the monitoring system would be made more active by strict compliance of the SOPs issued by the department.

The project director further said that the Forest Department was keeping record of each plant while using all the capabilities to make the project a success, whereas the rest of the provinces were also following KP in plantation project.

He made it clear that no leniency will be tolerated in duty and strict action will be taken against any officer or employee over negligence in duty. However, he said, good efforts will also be rewarded.

Earlier, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had planted 1.28 billion saplings in the province under the Billion Tree Tsunami Project. Raees Khan said that steps would also be taken to install tube wells, rain water harvesting storage and other sources as part of a mechanism to supply water to the plants.