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Forest Department gears up for Monsoon Plantation Drive

Jammu, July 23, 2021: Jammu and Kashmir Forest Department and other allied wings like Social Forestry Department, Wild Life Protection Department, Soil & Water Conservation Department have drawn up ambitious plan to take-up afforestation onlarge scale during current monsoon season across various districts of Jammu Region.

In this regard a review meeting was chaired by Commissioner/Secretary Forests, Sh. Sanjeev Verma, IAS in which officers of various departments including Principal Chief Conservator of ForestsForest Department (T) Sh. Mohit Gera IFS, Sh. Roshan Jaggi IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest /Director, Department of Social Forestry, Sh. Suresh Gupta IFS Chief Wildlife Warden were also present. It was decided during the meeting that plantation on Degraded Forests, Village Common Lands,State Lands and Panchayat lands shall be taken up with active participation of Gram Panchayat. The officers were advised to educate the people by active involvement of PRIs at District, Block &Panchayat levelfor taking up Plantation drives in their areas.

The Social Forestry Department has also drawn up a plan under Farm Forestry Programme to provide various types of plant saplings to interested farmers / common people at subsidized rates so that they can take up plantation on their private lands. It was informed that Social Forestry Department which has played an important role in last couple of decades in raising plantations on vacant lands across the length & breadth of Union Territory of J&K shall carry out plantation of about 13.80 Lacs of plantation over an area of 1814Hain different districts of Jammu Region. Similarly during winter season department shall under take plantation over an area of 1008Ha in different districts of Kashmir Region& would plant about 9.80 Lacs Plants.

It is pertinent to mention here that with the establishment of all three tiers of PRIs in UT of J&K focus is now on active involvement of the Panchayat Raj institutions in various aspects of developmental activities as per devolution of Powers & functions, Afforestation activities shall be taken up with assistance & support of Village Panchayat & Village Panchayat Plantation Committee (VPPCs) shall play an important role in this regard. The idea is to utilize available lands with Panchayats / State lands & de-graded forest lands near habitations, for raising Green-assets which could meet needs of fuel-wood, Fodder, small timber of local people 75% of sale proceeds from Village Woodlots plantations shall be shared with VPPC Accounts. These funds can be used by Village Panchayats for raising new plantations & other utility works for the welfare of their people.

The DDC’s and BDC’s representatives are also taking active part in plantation programs in their respective jurisdictions & motivating the locals to lend helping hand to department of Social Forestry.

In pursuance to the recent directions of the Chief Secretary,Forest and allied departments have also drawn up a plan to utilize “MG-NREGA” funds for taking up plantation, fire-protection & other allied activities on forest and non-forest lands by Utilizing funds from MG-NREGA under convergence mode. This would generate employment to village in and around forests.

The progress on construction of Jammu Zoo was also reviewed by the Commissioner Secretary Forests and he expressed satisfaction on progress of various works. The project will be dedicated to people shortly. It was also decided to organise VAN-MAHAOTSAV Programmes in different districts to formally launch plantation drives by involving local people, NGO’s, Panchayat members &other stake holders. During such VAN-MAHAOTSAV events, saplings shall also be distributed to people/ Farmers

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