1 lakh saplings to be planted during monsoon: Lal Singh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, July 7: Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology Choudhary Lal Singh  has  directed the Divisional Forest Officers of Jammu Division to start a  massive plantation drive   and  set  a target of planting about one lakh ornamental and fruit saplings in the forest  areas  and alongside the roads during the current monsoon season.
The Minister issued these directions while chairing   a meeting of officers of   Forest Department and its allied wings at Forest Information Centre here today.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests A K Singh, Chairman Pollution Control Board Ravi Kessar, Director, Social Forestry, Suresh Chugh,  Chief Conservator Forests, Forest Protection Force Suresh Gupta, Managing Director, State Forest Corporation, Arun Tikoo, Chief Conservator of Forests, A K Gupta, besides Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) of Jammu, Udhampur, Ramban, Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Kathua districts attended the meeting.
The Minister asked the DFOs to put in concerted efforts and mobilize the available   resources for taking up   plantation drive in the month of July-August  in Jammu region, adding that  plantation drive will also be taken up in  Kashmir  region  simultaneously.  He asked them to immediately start plantation drive in degraded forest areas of their respective jurisdictions.
He said that Government has identified for immediate chain link fencing of forest areas in Sunjwan, Doongain, Dhammi, Panjgrain, Ban Panjgrain, Kala Kupper, Kalajarh, Chilla, Lodhwal, Sanasar road side to Kud via Patnitop, Tringla, Kothri, Marara, Ludara, Nogana, Ramkote and Plail to avoid encroachments. He asked the DFOs to submit the report on daily basis on the progress on chain link fencing and plantation on degraded forest areas.
Choudhary Lal Singh directed for achieving cent percent targets of plantation in monsoon, especially on degraded and uncovered forest land on priority. He stressed that work, in this regard, should be visible on ground and directed for third party monitoring and inspection to ascertain the progress on the project. He also stressed the need for planting ornamental plants alongside the Jammu-Udhampur and Domail-Katra National Highway.
Maintaining that public participation is vital for preservation of environment, the Minister urged upon people to come forward and voluntarily participate in the plantation drive. He said people should plant trees in their surroundings, schools, colleges and Government offices, saying that the department will provide   saplings free of cost during the rainy season.
The Minister asked the officers to install sprinkle irrigation system and ponds in the nurseries and forest closures. He asked the concerned for taking up works of up-gradation of existing nurseries under CAMPA scheme 2016-17.