SAMBA, Feb 12: In a bid to develop green corridor along National Highway through plantation and allied activity, Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh today launched the plantation drive in Samba district under the Greening of National Highway Phase-1 extending from Lakhanpur in Kathua to Udhampur.
The event was marked with the plantation of Peepal (Sacred Fig) tree by the Minister at the Government Degree College Samba. “The objective of this endeavor is to develop a framework for the plantation of trees along highways, reducing the impact of air pollution and dust, providing shade on glaring hot roads during summer, reducing the impact of noise pollution and soil erosion, preventing the glare from the headlights of incoming vehicles, and curbing carbon emission,” Singh said.
He said that under the ‘Green Highway’ project, the first three rows will have ornamental plants along the highway whereas the back rows will have commercial species of plants.
The Minister said that in order to make National Highway eco-friendly and green, the work is under progress and fencing of enclosures is also being undertaken and the entire plantation will be done by Social Forestry wing of Forest Department. He further said that after completion of enclosure and fencing work, massive plantation drive will be held along the National Highway in this season.
The Minister was accompanied by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, A K Singh, Chairman PCB Ravi Kesar, Chief Wildlife Warden Suresh Chug, MD State Forest Corporation, Suresh Gupta, Director Social Forestry, Director SFRI B M Sharma, Director Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing O P Sharma, Director Soil and Water Conservation Javed Ahmad along with DFOs.