33,589 acres forestland in Sindh illegally encroached, SA told

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly (SA) was informed on Monday that Sindh Forest Department has vacated 27,026.55 acres of land in various districts of the province since April 2008, while a major portion of land measuring 33,589.50 acres is yet to be recovered from encroachers. Sindh Forest Minister Syed Ali Nawaz Shah, responding to

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a query of MPA Kulsoom Chandio during a question hour said that his department could recover only 800-acre land in Thatta, while still 9,255 acres is under possession of encroachers, followed by 8,694 acres in Shaheed Benazirabad, 3,971 acres in Shikarpur and 1,793 acres in Kashmore.

“Efforts are underway to recover all encroached lands in the province, but no timeframe can be given in this regard,” added the minister. Responding to a question of legislature regarding afforestation in the province, Minister said a PC-I of development scheme namely, “Massive afforestation of Neem (Azadirachta indica), a versatile and promising tree, solving global problems” was approved in 2008-09 at a total cost of Rs 50 million, having execution period from 2008-09 to 2012-14. He told Rs 30.947 had been spent on the scheme by June 2010. He said the plantation of a Neem tree costs Rs 20. When an MPA Arif Mustafa Jatoi sought minister’s response on establishment of Jetropha Plant in Sindh that could be used to make bio-diesel, Shah said 10 acres of Jetropha plantation had been completed at Miani Forest under the ADP scheme during year 2009-10. Minister went on to say that 14-acre of Jetropha research plots would be established at different ecological zones in Sindh, with two acres each during the year 2010-11. ppi

Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\22\story_22-11-2011_pg7_29

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