PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak receiving a tumultuous welcome in the billion tree tsunami celebrations in Convention Centre Islamabad declared that the change was now visible beyond the billion tree tsunami in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. His government was all time on the targets.His team achieved targets in education, health and other social sectors to facilitate the change. He reminded that he and his team were resisted at all stages of governance but his government showed the level of commitment and the matching will to depoliticize the public sector institutions making them efficient to deliver he added.
He was addressing the participants of the celebration of billion tree tsunami at Convention centre Islamabad. Chairman PTI Imran Khan, central secretary general PTI Jehangir Tareen, Advisor to CM Ishtiaq Urmar, Secretary Forests, and others also spoke on the occasion. The Chief Minister appreciated the performance of Ishtiaq Urmar and officials of the Forest Department and announced that Ishtiaq Urmar would be the cabinet member as Minister of the Environment Department. He also announced promotions to the employees of the department. He announced planting 2 billion trees in the next tenure after winning the elections in 2018.
Chief Minister said that he right from the day one worked on governance for improved delivery in all sectors. He reminded that a billion tree tsunami was not an easy task to do. The provincial government had to fight against the strong timber mafia and forced them a defeat. Unfortunately, the mafia had cut down 200 billion rupees in the province having protection behind the windfall law. His government not only planted billion trees but protected 2 billion from the timber mafia which used to cut down trees and destroy the forests in the province before his government. Their merciless cutting down of the trees also destroyed the natural growth but now nobody could dare indulging in deforestation. He enumerated the hardships in achieving the targets under the billion tree tsunami and added that he kept on raising nurseries, involving community and youth because he had a commitment to the nation to achieve the targets under the green growth initiatives.
Pervez Khattak also enumerated the steps his government took for the revamping of institutions adding that when he took over the public institutions were in total disarray. There was rampant corruption. His government kept targets in all public sector institutions to ensure efficient delivery.
He talked about education, health and other sectors and made legislations to achieve all targets in these sectors. Adding that the previous undeliverable system was replaced by a deliverable system. Police was depoliticized and tasked to deliver in consonance with the aspirations of the people adding that simultaneously he worked on multifaceted areas of governance. He compared his governance with others and challenged to bring a system of governance like the governance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that the change was visible everywhere in all sectors throughout the province but those who was self centric could not see the positive change in governance, he added.
Talking about the background of billion tree tsunami its importance, the Chief Minister shared achievements of his government in the environmental conservations and afforestation at large scale in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He reminded that when he announced the billion tree tsunami in the province, the political opponents ridiculed his commitment, making fun of his government endeavor but his government’s made the all time big drive for afforestation, a complete success story adding environmental conservation was one of his government priority areas because Global warming and climate change were biggest challenges that the humanity was faced with. Pakistan has been ranked as the seventh most vulnerable country.
He said unfortunately forestry was the lowest priority in the past and it’s development budget in KP never exceeded Rs. 300 million per annum. The grim reality is t that annually 15.532 million cubic meter fuel wood is used alone in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, that exceeds the annual regenerative capacity of KP forests. Consequently 78% of our forests were under-stocked and 74% had no regeneration, when we took over.
Pervez Khattak said his Government in KP in the first go; decided to promote Governance and introduced Green Growth Economy in the Province. In this context Forestry was on top of our Agenda: therefore we adopted a three pronged strategy that included, Conservation and rehabilitation of existing degraded Forests, Development of new forests over 2% additional area to bridge gap between demand and supply, retrieval of encroached state land and establishment of forests over it , added.
He said his government decided to plant, sow and regenerate One Billion seedlings and achieved it. He said The Federal Government having been induced by the project, started Green Pakistan Program, which will plant 100 million plants in entire country in next five years adding that there was no match between billion tree tsunami and green Pakistan programme leaving it to the gathering to calculate the share of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the whole green Pakistan programme. He eulogized the sacrifices of the employees of the forest department who laid down their lives in fighting with the timber mafia.
He appreciated the efforts of Forestry, Environment & Wildlife Department for making the billion trees project, a success story.