JAMMU, NOV 24: Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology Choudhary Lal Singh today said that people must plant trees and contribute back to the environment for the benevolence of the State’s ecological affairs, adding that mega environmental and plantation drives have been launched to achieve better results in shaping up the degraded environment.
The Minister was speaking to officers of Forest Department after reviewing the progress of summer and winter seasonal plants and its survival across the Jammu region at Forest Information Centre in Gandhi Nagar, here today.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ravi Kesar, Chairman Pollution Control Board B Sidhartha, Chief Wildlife Warden ManojPanth, Director, Social Forestry, Ashwani Gupta, Chief Conservator Forests, Farooq Gillani, Managing Director SFC Suresh Gupta, Director FPF Asif Mohammad Sagar, Director SFRI B M Sharma, Director Soil Conservation Javed Iqbal Punjoo, Regional Director PCB Choudhary Showkat Ahmed, Regional Director Wildlife Sinthil Kumar besides Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) of Jammu, Udhampur, Ramban, Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Kathua districts attended the meeting.
Choudhary Lal Singh directed the officers to develop nurseries of the coldest areas of the region with ornamental, fruit like Amla, Pear, Guava, Bar, Grapes and Tropical apple saplings.
He asked them to plant Bhord tree on the edge areas of the revered ponds of Jammu region and directed for complete fencing of the forest land for avoiding encroachments.
The Minister asked the senior functionaries of the Forest Department to pay frequent visits to the nurseries and also personally monitor the irrigation of planted plants along the roadside strips from Lakhanpur to Banihal.
Choudhary Lal Singh said that the Government is aiming to provide green cover to the schools, colleges and other educational institutes and in this regard the Department would be assessing the green and cleanliness of the educational institutes.
The Minister said that the Government is also aiming to popularize plantation with sustained drives in Ladakh and Kashmir regions of the State. He said that the winter season is best time for plantation of seasoned plants in both the regions and the Forest Department has taken it in a mission mode to cover maximum area under plantation.
Lal Singh asked the concerned officers to intensify the plantation drive in the coldest areas of the State during the winter season while stressing on planting the saplings of ornamental and fruit plants that can sustain the local weather conditions.
He said thousands of plants of fruit and ornamental and other species are being planted in identified forest locations keeping in mind local weather conditions.
While seeking cooperation of the people, the Minister asked all stakeholders to be part of plantation drive so that ecology can be maintained properly. He said that Government is contemplating to update the forest policy with the aim to increase the forest wealth of the State.