Advisor Kumar discusses modalities for raising addl company of Ecological Battalion

Advisor Vijay Kumar chairing a meeting on Wednesday.
Advisor Vijay Kumar chairing a meeting on Wednesday.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 6: Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar, today chaired a meeting to discuss the modalities for raising additional company of 129 Infantry Battalion (TA) Ecological, based at Samba and functioning in conjunction with State Forest Department for undertaking Ecological Restoration Tasks in the State.
The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary Forests M K Dwivedi, PCCF J&K Suresh Chugh, CCF Jammu Sameer Bharti, Commanding Officer 129 Infantry BN Col Nandu Kumar, Special Secretary (Technical) Forest K Ramesh Kumar, Director Sainik Welfare Board J&K and other senior officers of the Forest Department.
A detailed presentation was made at the meeting highlighting the role of the Battalion in carrying out various activities assigned to it including afforestation activities, ward and watch duties of the project, soil and water conservation, management and development of natural resources, water table restoration, upbringing of flora and fauna and spreading mass awareness on ecological aspects.
Details of total area covered under plantation and number of plantation done since the raising of 129 Inf BN was also given during the presentation. Besides, physical and financial achievements registered by the battalion were also discussed in detail.
It was said that under various plantation projects including Rui Watershed Project, Bahu Jindra Project, CAMPA, Bahu Purmandal Project and the Bani Basohli Project, a total of 5211 hectares of area was taken up and around 42.10 lakh trees were planted till date by the troops of the battalion.
It was informed that Battalion has played a key role in transforming the degraded forest land in the lower Shivalik ranges by bringing the land under plantation facilitating great improvement in the ecological, social and economic scenario.
The meeting held threadbare discussions on the requirement of raising additional company of the battalion, its financial implications and arranging source of funds for the purpose. It was felt that there is an urgent need of increasing the manpower of the battalion to take up additional tasks within the timeline set by the state Forest Department and to take on other additional areas for afforestation related activities.
It was also given out that the raising of one additional company, would not only help in carrying out assigned tasks with ease and effectiveness but also help the Battalion to reach out to the far-flung and fragile areas, besides generating substantial opportunities of re-employment and rehabilitation to a large number of Ex-servicemen in the state.
The DFO Ecological Task Force (ETF) also made a detailed presentation regarding overall activities of the Basohli Division and the achievements made since the project area was shifted to Ravi-catchment Basohli one and a half year back.