There is so much damage occurring with human interference in the fragile and eco-sensitive areas globally and J&K is no exception, where we have gone way ahead in the name of development and chopping off numerous trees, destroying the ecology of places that lie away from the human hustle and bustle. No matter what, the relationship of humans with nature will remain the same where the humans will continue their greed and nature will always be at the receiving end. In such a grim situation, what has come as a ray of hope and light, is the ‘Green Jammu & Kashmir Drive’ launched by the LG Manoj Sinha, under which, the Government is aiming at bringing about a huge change in terms of the forest cover which has been taking a hit for the last several years.
It is heartening to see that the Administration is aiming at the target of planting 1.5 cr saplings in the current year while the focus has been given to ensuring the conservation of the ecology in J&K. For this giant and much-needed step, LG Manoj Sinha deserves to be lauded because, under his leadership, J&K has executed several works with regard to strengthening and upgrading the system which is taking care of the green gold across J&K. It is also a known fact that over the years, the infrastructure and manpower with regard to forest protection have witnessed quite an increase, paving a way for the measures aiming at sustainable ecology. But, apart from planting 1.5 cr saplings, there is a need for doing more.
The authorities have been focusing and talking about community participation in the conservation of the ecology, but at the same time, quite frequently, it has been underlined that there is a need for striking a balance between nature and development. But that does not mean putting the fragile ecology at risk on one side and planting saplings, even if in crores, in some other parts, totally distant and not really related. Such measures won’t be of any use. Rather, there is a need for executing a comprehensive plan under a well-thought-out strategy that might include demarking the ecologically sensitive places and banning the infrastructural built up in toto, not to speak of allowing the increased human footfall in such places, to begin with.
Once that is done and protection is ensured in such areas; then the Government, in phases, can identify areas that have seen more environmental degradation due to various factors over the years and execute various measures aimed at environmental conservation, which will have planting saplings as one of its building blocks, because conservation does not end with plantation and it does not start with it either. The LG Manoj Sinha has indeed taken an excellent and much-needed step, but, if it has to be effective, then there has to be a much bigger plan aimed at the conservation of the ecology in J&K.