Srinagar, Feb 11 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir governmentwill plant 10 lakh saplings as part of its massiveafforestation drive beginning March this year.
The saplings will be planted on 900 hectares of landto encourage forest cover in the state, Minister for Forest,Environment and Wildlife Mian Altaf Ahmed said whileaddressing a high level meeting yesterday.
As part of the drive, 201 hectares of land in southKashmir''s Anantnag and Kulgam districts will be covered with1.97 lakh of trees, while 2.57 lakh trees will also be plantedon 245 hectares in north Kashmir''s Baramulla and Kupwaradistricts, Ahmed said.
In central Kashmir, 2.34 lakh trees will be planted on134 hectares in the districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal andBudgam, he said, with around 80,000 trees helpingreforestation efforts in the summer capital Srinagar.
More than two lakh trees will be planted in the nextmonth in Shopian and Pulwama districts in south Kashmirexpecting to cover 101 hectares, he said.
The Wildlife department will also plant 2.45 lakhtrees in Dachigam national park, Khrew, Ajas, Daksum, Kheram,Avara, Hajan, Kothar and Lachmanpora areas in the valley.
The initiative comes at a time when illegal choppingand smuggling of wood and timber over the last 20 years hasconsiderably damaged ecological balance in the region.