ISLAMABAD: Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) will carry out a day-long plantation drive on August 13, to highlight greenery’s vital role in ensuring a neat and clean environment. Thirty-five volunteers from different organizations, including students, will plant 5,000 saplings at Shakarparian ground. The four to six feet plants to be planted will include Kachnar, Amaltas, Jackranda, Sukhchain, Chirpine and other species.

The MCI has taken the initiative to further increase the capital’s forest cover with active public participation ahead of Independence Day. The MCI has also invited different federal government departments, schools, colleges, international and national non government organizations, national and multi-national companies to join the drive. Talking to APP on Tuesday, Director Environment MCI Ghezwan M Shamshad said the volunteers, including individuals, students and representatives of private organizations, would take part in the drive.–APP

Underlining the role of volunteers in plantation drives, he said that they had been taking keen interest for the last two years. The civic agency planted as many as 37,800 saplings during the previous spring season and over 50,000 through volunteers in the ongoing monsoon season, he added.   He pointed out that Hashoo Foundation had donated 6,000 saplings, U-bank 5,000, and 2,000 each by two Charted Accountants Shehzad and Sohail, besides 1,000 by Green Squad group of youngsters.

  He shared that an Islamabad-based company had signed a Memorandum of Understanding for plantation of 50,000 trees in suburban areas of the capital, of which 25,000 saplings had already been planted while the rest were being fixed. “This time, we are planting the saplings with a landscape plan in collaboration with the volunteers, keeping in view all requirements needed for their (saplings) survival,” he added.

     Answering a question, Ghezwan said the MCI launched two plantation drives every year, one in spring (February-March) and second in monsoon (July-August) with a target of planting 600,000 saplings.  “The department per season plants 200,000 saplings in suburban areas, including forests, and 100,000 in urban areas, including parks, roadsides and selected places,” he explained. The director urged the people to contact the authorities concerned before planting trees at public places for  guidance and appropriate locations.