MISSION Greening Punjab …How & how not?Article Posted on : 2013-05-21

The Chief Minister, Punjab, recently made a Challenging declaration for plantation of Five Crs tree sampling each year, regularly for consecutive Eight years time, thus resulting in plantation for FORTY Crs, through Forest section of the state! The mix variety Forest plants, considering an average 400 plantation on each plot, may require Ten Lakh acres of land? The policy declaration was deliberated under the Chairmanship of Sh P.L.Kler, I.F.S. (Retd) & President of ‘Punjab Environment Society”, working since last 20 years. It was felt that, Project may find (real) difficulties in getting estimated land, but it is the task of state to look in for this issue .The society wish to suggest that the idea need to be reviewed from practical angle & also made people, on incorporation for certain economics in the basic concept. It is fact that the society has been going through difficult test for their day to day living economics, due to regular increase in the cost for basic FOOD items. Therefore, efforts to ‘Green Punjab’ need to be made relevant for the daily life of its natives, providing a long term benefit opportunity to the growing future generations of the soil.

Punjab has population for 2.77 Crs, living in 12’581 Villages, 22 Districts, 141Towns, 142 Blocks, 81 Tehsils, 86 Sub Tehsils in the state. All these got certain vacant land, apart from institutional land with School/colleges/Government complexes for planting useful trees. The practice as on date has been for planting mix variety, Forestry Tree samplings, which only contribute in improvement for Environments & on later stage provide certain quantities of wood, on maturity for the life of saved/protected tree plants. Punjab need to shortlist a variety of Fruit bearing trees , which are useful for nutritious values & utility for home made preparations or pickles. Punjab may plant selective 7 – 10 varieties, feasible in Government sector & also depending on soil friendliness for plants, such as ; 1) Kathal (Jack Fruit – Artocarpus integrifolia ), 2) Dheu- (Artocarpus Lakoocha ), 3) Amla ( Amblica offycinalis ),4) Galgal (Citrus pseudolimon ) , 5) Lasora – ( Cordia Myxa) ,6) Bael – ( Aegle Marmevlos) , 7) Swanjna ( Moringa oleifera ) 8) Mango- ( Mangifera indica ), 9) Jamun – (Syzygium Cumini ),10) Bamboo trees .

Punjab requires just a fraction of land & plantation share, out of total tree plantation drive for the state. Thus, it is estimated just about 0.01 % of total land or 2% estimate for only first year of plantation, i.e. about 11 lacks, survived fruit bearing trees, may require only 5000 acres of land in different locations of the state, on an average, per acre 200 -250 plantations, resulting in at least one Fruit tree each, for a group of 25 Punjabi’s by 2020. The master plan provide for creating 15 plants for each native of Punjab .The Project, may have to be outsourced to professional agency, but put under supervision of a) V.C.- P.A.U., b) Director- Horticulture , c) P.C.C.F –Forests ,d) V.C. –Ayurveda University etc.for respective zones. The future plant management may be considered to be put under respective Panchayats /local bodies. The facility created may continue for NEXT many generations, connecting present POLITICAL & GOVERNANCE leadership with them. The surroundings of Chandigarh were popular for availability of Mangos & Morinda belt in particular was known as ‘Baghan Wala’ .The British originally motivated farmers & then state Leadership , between 1960- 70 also carried on advising farmers for Mission on Mango tree plantation, resulting in Fruits, enjoyed by all of us between 1970 – 90.

Punjab is a tiny land state and need not to grow JUNGLES in competitiveness with other states for the country. The plantation agenda for about even Five Crs plants in eight years time itself appears to be a challenging TASK but feasibility for 40 Crs plantation appears to be a difficult job that too without identifying land, may well be known to professional in Forest department. Many in developed countries plant trees in dedication to lost one, near-dears. Punjab is developing Memorials & plantation for a ‘cluster of trees’, can also be a part of this movement. Some of the proposed ‘Greening project locations’ can be dedicated to the martyrs, belonging to that area. The logics advanced, may be based on construction of implementing concept for Greening Punjab !The Government is therefore ,earnestly appealed to FRAME POLICY, for at least next 10 years ,selecting a preferred variety for Tree plantations to the state requirements, along with assurance on survival & caring methodology. Government may have to crystallize position, on most important related issues, such as : What to plant ,How many numbers ,where ,How & who will nurse, Answer ability for plant survivals, What report annually required for plant monitoring living conditions, Reflection in A.C.R’s if loss more then specified ,Funds for maintenance, who all will benefit, tree life ,replenishment procedures on maturity etc . The help of NGO’s ,like ‘Nanhi Chhaan’ of Punjab Public Charitable Trust ’, ‘Punjab Environment Society’ or other significant NGO’s such as serviced by Baba Sewa Singh (Khadoor Sahib) may be sought to liaison for genuine implementations. The saints, residing in respective areas, representing different faiths may also be associated for their blessings & ultimate survival for the Fruit plants.

The initiative displayed in April 1999, during Khalsa tri centenary celebrations by Srd Jasjit Singh, Vice President for’ Punjab Environment Society’, who happens to be the son of legendary family, the founder Vice Chancellor –GNDU, Srd Bishan Singh Samundri & grandson of freedom fighter, Srd Teja Singh Samundri, got distribution more than three lakh plant samplings as ‘BUTA PARSHAD’ through Jathedar, Shri Keshgarh Sahib at Shri Anandpur Sahib. The model referred may be considered for adoption as basic concept by the state for highest degree plant survival rates. Therefore, Government may adjust IDEAS proposed under reference, while taking opinion of the expertise, working in the field of Fruits, Horticulture& Agriculture for final shape to the Mission. The Government must involve People & Spirituality for certified success. The State may have to identify & support personalities similar to the one, like Dr M.S. Randhawa, who single handedly succeeded in his self made Mission on greening & Flowering capital city, Chandigarh, then it is not an impossible TASK for present leadership in Punjab to Green Punjab .Dr Randhawa continued to be remembered with reverence for uniqueness in present planted beauty of the city.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister, Dy. Chief Minister & Ministers for Forest /Horticulture/Agriculture in Punjab, may have to prioritize the activity by positioning them for tough decisions on construction for a viable plantation system, based on actual land with them & surety on survival graphs. The state, if fails now on genuine implementations on above Project, conceived by Hon’ble Chief Minister, based on data submitted by Forest officers ,the principle part for failures may be dedicated to unaccountable Babushahi , in absence for sense of belonging to the state, by playing ‘ I Am Safe’ role culture on writing unmindful, if & buts ,despite visible, continued natural zeal in ‘Badals’ (Clouds) , showering (welfare) on vegetation (people) without discrimination ,on the Mother Earth! God may bless the Project, based on fundamentals laid by Punjab Babushahi !
Nirmal Singh Keerka ,
Gen Secretary, Punjab Heritage & Education Foundation.
gnanaktimes2aajtak@gmail.co. Cell 9876122122

Updated: August 11, 2014 — 7:32 am