UDHAMPUR, Mar 9: Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar today inaugurated JAN-VAN Mela being organized by the Department of Social Forestry at Thial (Chogan) in district Udhampur which was attended by more than 900 progressive farmers and general public from five districts of Jammu division including Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur and Reasi.
Commissioner/Secretary Forests, M K Dwivedi, PCCF J&K, Suresh Chugh, SSP Udhampur, Rajiv Om Parkash Pande, Director Soil Conservation, P K Singh, ADDC Udhampur, Ashok Kumar, APCCF CAMPA, Sarvesh Rai, Chief Wildlife Warden, Suresh Kr Gupta, MD JKSFC Vasu Yadav, CCF Eco-Tourism, J. Frankoi, CCF Jammu, Sameer Bharti, CCF Ramesh Kumar and other senior officers of various wings of Forest department were present on the occasion.
The mega Forest-Public Mela brought together enterprising farmers, environmentalist, various wings of forest department and district administration under single roof. The event was coordinated by Social Forestry Department, the recipient of prestigious “Indira Priyadarshini Award’’ twice in the year 1993 and 1998 for its greening initiatives, especially outside forest area through community mobilization.
Giving details of the event, it was informed that the objective behind organizing this mela was imparting general awareness about importance of green cover, its decline and associated ill effects, motivate tree planting outside forest area to extend green cover, interact with progressive farmers on knowing their specific tree species requirements for farm forestry and Village Wood Lot, encourage stall feeding and discourage grazing in natural forest and to aware general public and farmers about various government schemes on forestry, wildlife, horticulture, agriculture etc.,
More than a dozen stalls were setup by major Departments such as Social Forestry, Territorial Forest, SFRI, Wildlife, J&K State Pollution Control Board, Department of Remote Sensing, Agrostology Department, Agriculture, Horticulture Department, SKUAST-Jammu, and Department of Soil and Water Conservation that are involved in planting of forest and agro-horticulture species and wildlife management.
It was informed that the farmers and general public were the direct beneficiaries as about 900 progressive farmers and general public received more than 2000 quality plant materials in the form of “Farm Forestry Kit’’ containing tree saplings of their common choice; exposed to and interacted with various department involved in forestry and fruit tree planting on farm forestry, forestry and wildlife related issues and latest agro technologies.
During the interaction with farmers, K Vijay Kumar was apprised of their problems and demands including better road connectivity, availability of quality of timber, monkey and leopard menace apart from other issues.
Kumar assured the farmers that their genuine demands would be looked into and necessary assistance would be provided by the State Government.