Jasrotia reviews physical, financial achievements of Forest Deptt

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, May 20: Minister for Forests, Ecology & Environment Rajiv Jasrotia today directed the senior functionaries of the department to take effective steps for sustainable development of forests.
Chairing maiden meeting after taking over the charge of the Forest Ministry, Jasrotia took detailed review of physical and financial activities of the department.
The Minister called for sustainable development of forests including strengthening of State Forest Corporation (SFC), Pollution Control Board (PCB), Soil and Water Conservation Department, State Forest Research Institute (SFRI), Forest Protection Force (FPF) and Social Forestry to achieve growth and progress of huge natural resources of the State.
The meeting was attended by Chief Wildlife Warden Ravi Kesar, MD State Forest Corporation Suresh Chug, Chairman PCB V. Sidarth, Director Soil and Water Conservation PK Singh, Director Social Forestry AK Gupta, Director SFRI BM Sharma along with Conservators, DFOs and other senior officers of the department.
Jasrotia exhorted upon the officers to raise their commitment level. “Let us collectively make a change”, he added. The Minister directed the HoDs to come up with the written proposals with detailed reports for resources.
Expressing concern over forest fire incidents, the Minister asked the officers to identify the vulnerable areas and work as per the norms of National Forest Action Plan. He also instructed to rejuvenate State Forest Department Agency.
The Minister directed to expedite the process of demarcation of forest land and stressed on Judicial/Revenue training of forest staff so that process of demarcation can be carried out with concerned departments in an effective manner.
Jasrotia further said that department has an important role in the conservation of the natural resources which are directly connected with the life of human beings and other living creatures. He stressed upon the need for coordinated efforts with the involvement of various stakeholders to minimize loss to the natural resources.
He also stressed on the need for preservation of water bodies while taking review of Soil and Water Conservation Department.
Reviewing the working and commercial activities of SFC, the Minister enjoined upon the management to re-double their efforts towards making the Corporation more profitable.
The Minister asserted that serious efforts are being initiated to preserve ecology and environment of the State. “Government has prioritized the protection and preservation plan of forests and wildlife by taking up systematic demarcation of forest and wildlife land across the State”, he added. Minister strictly cautioned the officials of the department that there shouldn’t be any compromise on the protection of wildlife, environment and ecology of the State.
Later, responding to the queries of media persons at a press conference at Van Bhavan, the Minister said that his priority is to work for preservation of the forest land, wildlife conservation including    Gharana Wetland, early completion of Manda Zoo project and intensifying a forestation drive under CAMPA.