PATIALA:The Forest and Wildlife Protection Department today organized a district level function at Government Senior Secondary Smart School, Passi Road on the occasion of 71st Van Maha Utsav.
Presiding over the function, Vanpal (Conservator, South Circle) Dr. Manish Kumar said that increasing the number of trees is the need of the hour for ensuring a cleaner environment, but it is not the work of one person or the department but with the collective participation of all. He said that with the efforts of Forest Department, more than 3.30 lakh saplings have been planted in Patiala district in the recent past and more than 2.63 lakh saplings have been distributed free of cost. He said that the contribution of every section of the society in this tree planting mission was essential so that we could provide a clean and hygienic environment to our future generations.
Addressing the function, Deputy Commissioner Mr. Kumar Amit said that shortage of oxygen during Covid pandemic has made people aware of the importance of trees and if we are not aware about the environment now, the consequences will be bad in future. He said that the main purpose of holding this function in the school was to make the children aware about the importance of environment and make them a part of this mission. He said that the Punjab Government has developed a green app i-haryali through which any person can get 15 saplings free of cost from the nearest nursery by registering on it and similarly a tree protection app i-rakhwali has been developed to take care of the environment. To sensitise the students about their active participation in increasing the forest cover, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) Dr Preeti Yadav said, “It is our prime duty to provide a clean environment to future generations and for this we should plant as many saplings as possible”. She said that a person who plants saplings selflessly, does a remarkable job, as the next generation gets the benefit after 20 years. She encouraged the students to plant saplings around their homes.
On this occasion, District Forest Officer Patiala Ms. Vidya Sagari said that Van Mahautsav was being observed in Patiala district for the last one week and in continuation of this, 12 NGOs, 9 different organizations alongwith Panchayats were planting saplings at 56 places in the district today. So far 21, 405 saplings have been planted in collaboration with various government departments and village panchayats. On this occasion the guests launched the campaign by planting saplings at Government Senior Secondary Smart School. Students were given saplings free of cost while Principal Dr. Tota Singh Chahal present vote of thanks.

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