Chandigarh: Punjab Government on Monday gave approval for a massive plantation drive on the vacant land available in rural and urban areas of the state. For this purpose, a corpus "Greening Punjab Fund" has been created to make the entire state clean, green and pollution free in a phased manner.

A decision to this effect was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here, an official spokesman said.

Under this ambitious programme, trees and plants of different species would be planted across the state and the entire programme would be funded through the corpus, created from the funds contributed by the various Boards, Corporations, authorities and departments.

Even the private sector and corporates would contribute for this scheme under the clause of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) enshrined in the Companies Act.

A Society, Trust or Company would be constituted under the Chief Minister for this purpose.

The plantation drive would be undertaken on the lands owned by government departments, institutions, panchayats, trusts, clubs, focal points, markets, cremation grounds besides land in the vicinity of police lines, stations and Jails, educational and medical institutions as well as institutions of the Union Government, he said.

Apart from carrying out extensive plantation drive, these institutions would also be required to ensure upkeep and maintenance of these trees at least for five years.

Adequate measures would also be taken to create awareness amongst the general public for the importance of the "Greening Punjab  Campaign" through publication of publicity material in the form of pamphlets, brochures, booklets besides organizing various functions and meetings from time to time.

The Punjab Cabinet on Monsay also approved the Budget proposals for the year 2012-13 to be presented by the Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa in the state Legislative Assembly on June 20.

(Agencies)

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