SRINAGAR, JUNE 13: Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Rajiv Jasrotia, today directed the forest officials to undertake a mega-plantation drive this monsoon season in Jammu as part of efforts to increase green cover and protect the environment from hazards of pollution.
The directions were issued by the Minister while chairing a review meeting to oversee preparations for plantation programmes to be carried out during 2018-19 by forest (territorial) and its allied wings.
The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary Saurabh Bhagat, Principal Chief Conservator Forests M M Pant, Chief Conservator Forests Kashmir Farooq Geelani, Chief Conservator Forests Jammu Sameer Bharti, Director Social Forestry A K Singh and Conservator Forests Srinagar, Chenab and West circle and Officer on Special Duty with Forest Minister N S Jamwal.
Jasrotia said that the department is planning to carry out the mega plantation drive in Jammu division this monsoon season starting in the month of July and during this period as many as 25 lakh saplings will be planted across 50 forest ranges which will be identified in the coming days.
He said, “The plantation drive will be a big affair aimed at to promote plantation of more trees to preserve and protect our environment that is facing severe problems due to the rising pollution levels.”
The Minister directed the officials of Forest Department and its sister wings like Social Forestry Division, Wildlife Department, Territorial Division, Forest Protection Force, Integrated Watershed Development Project and Soil conservation department to work in sync and identify plantation spots in each range so that 200 saplings are planted at each spot.
He directed officials to ensure the participation of schools, social organizations, environmentalists, and civil society in the plantation drive.
The Minister directed Commissioner Secretary Forests to appoint Nodal Officers from each concerned department so that simultaneous plantation in already identified locations could be undertaken on war footing.
Director State Forest Research Institute informed the Minister that 40 lakh saplings are available in Jammu region for plantation during this monsoon season.
The meeting was told that a massive plantation plan will be undertaken in the left out stretches of National Highway from Udhampur to Lakhanpur.
Pertinently, in the year 2017-18 around 21.98 lakh saplings were planted across Jammu region under various schemes while this year a provision of the plantation of 40 lakh saplings is in place.