Green panchayats

Published: Wednesday 31 May 2000

the Punjab government has evolved a new strategy to increase the state's forest cover as well as promote social forestry. The forestland in Punjab is less than 10 per cent of its area while, according to norms, the required forest cover is 33 per cent. In the past, both farmers and the government concentrated on increasing food production rather than paying attention to maintaining the ecological balance. As a result, trees were indiscriminately mowed down to make more land available for agriculture.

In a bid to increase the depleting forest cover, the state Panchayati Raj department has planned to plant about 150,000 saplings in July and August. It also plans to confer the status of green panchayats to villages which had the maximum number of surviving plants and also grant them prize money to implement special development projects.

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