The afforestation campaign must be made a mass movement by ensuring peoples participation to achieve the desired results. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the 70th State Level Van Mahotasav held at Banala (Panarsa) area of Mandi district today.Jai Ram Thakur said that this year, a target has been fixed to plant 25 lakh saplings including medicinal, broadleaf and fruits plants etc. in different parts of the state during the five-day campaign and this target could be achieved with the active cooperation of the people. This would not only help in increasing the forest cover but also in meeting out the fodder demand besides providing sufficient food for wild animals.The Chief Minister said that we should go for mass afforestation to save ecology and environment. He said that farming practices such as slash and burn farming, overgrazing by cattle and shifting agriculture were harmful to the environment and we must keep all these practices under control.He thanked the people of the State for providing wholehearted support to the BJP in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. He said that the vote share of the BJP was highest in the country and Kangra Parliamentary seat the vote share was 72 percent again highest in the country. He said that all the opposition leaders were still in shock due to this unprecedented victory of the BJP in the Lok Sabha. This is a befitting reply by the people of the State has given to the arrogant opposition leaders of the State. Chief Minister said that the one and a half year tenure of the present state government has been full of achievements and accomplishments. The Jan Manch programme is proving as a boon to the people as all their grievances are being redressed at their door-steps.
Jai Ram Thakur said that forest fires were the most common and deadly cause of loss of forests and there was need to take precautions by making fire lanes, clearing out dry leaves and trees etc.He said that the state government was endeavouring to ensure maximum participation of farmers in afforestation and related activities which would also help in strengthening their economy. The Vidhayarthi Van Mitr Yojna has been started in the state to sensitise the students regarding afforestation and motivating them to plant a sapling in their school campus and ensure its care and survival. Jai Ram Thakur directed the forest officers to ensure proper maintenance of forest rest houses so that they could be used to promote eco-tourism. This would also help in providing opportunity to the tourists to enjoy the natural bounty of the state. He also directed the forest employees to ensure survival of the saplings they have planted. The Chief Minister planted a sapling of Punica Granatun (Dadoo) on the occasion and distributed prizes to the officers and officials of Forest department, individuals and NGOs for commendable service in afforestation. He released a book “Avifauna in Himachal Pradesh” brought out by the Wild wife Wing of the Forest department. Earlier, the Chief Minister performed Bhoomi Pujan of developmental projects worth about Rs. 41 crore in the area. He performed Bhoomi Pujan of Padhar to Bharwahan, Choura to Kamaharra, Banogi Chehar Chailla, Kathyari to Ansar, Masar to Banaul, Rahala to Shayari, Hataun to Muthal and Bhatwari Rains Shala roads under PMGSY Stage-I and of Nagrota Segalduhag Chaknwar Pali road under NABARD RIDF-XXV to be constructed by spending an amount of Rs. 516.03 lakh, Rs. 338.49 lakh, Rs.428.47 lakh, Rs. 179.94 lakh, Rs.274.26 lakh, Rs. 183.81 lakh, Rs. 441.40 lakh, Rs. 494.76 lakh and Rs. 105.38 lakh respectively. He also laid foundation stone of 19.75 meter span bridge on Padhar Bharwahan road to be constructed by spending an amount of Rs.610.36 lakh and performed Bhumi Pujan of building of Government Degree College Panarsa to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 500 lakh.
Later, while launching ICDS-CAS by distributing of Smart phones to Anganbari Workers from Mandi and Kullu district, Chief Minister said under the first phase of the ICDS Common Application Software (CAS) as many as 34 Child Development Projects of 7645 Anganbari Centre of five districts have been covered and over 6,52,000 families have been registered. He said that under the second phase launched today, the remaining seven districts would be covered. As many as 11280 Anganbari Centres would be covered under the second phase of the project, he added.Chief Minister said that the state government has provided ICDS CAS Dashboard facility to the people of the State up to Block level. As many as 7645 mobiles and 30580 Growth Monitoring Devices has been provided to the Angnanbari Workers under the first phase of this project. He said that basic information such as family management, child development monitoring, management of Anganbari Centres, monthly progress report and list regarding immunisation would be included in this App.Chief Minister announced upgradation of CHC Nagwain to 50 bedded hospital, Rs. 70 lakh for construction of eight roads in the area, Rs. 7 lakh for construction of stage of Government Senior Secondary School, Panarsa, Rs. 5 lakh for Kotdhar helipad, opening of Junior Engineer, Electrical Section in Gram Panchayat Aut.Jai Ram Thakur also announced Rs. 21000 from his discretionary fund to local school for promotion of cultural programme.Speaking in the occasion, Forest Minister Govind Thakur said that it becomes duty of each one of us to protect, preserve and conserve the rich biodiversity of the State. He said that the forests give fuel, fodder, fruits and above all ensure clean environment. He said that the 6705 sq km modest forest needs to be converted into dense forests and more trees should be planted in barren lands.He said that Plantation Campaign Monitoring Application was introduced last year in the State to actually monitor the plantation campaign in the State. He said that the survival rate of the sapling plants in the State was about 70 per cent. He said that this year trees would be planted 9000 hectare area in the State. He said that 'Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam' was launched in the State to link women empowerment with environment conservation.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Rajiv Saizal said that the state government was committed for ensuring socio-economic upliftment of weaker sections of the society. He said that providing gas connection to each household of the State under Ghrihini Suvidha Yojana was a step towards women empowerment.He thanked the Chief Minister for launching the ICSD CAS scheme for the people of the State. He said that this would immensely help the Anganbari workers to get information regarding women and child at the click of the button. He said that this would also ensure that the beneficiaries of the welfare scheme would reach the needy and the deserving section of the society. Local MLA Jawahar Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for laying foundation stones of developmental projects worth about Rs. 41 crore in his area today. He said that these projects would usher an era of progress and prosperity in the area as this area remained neglected during the five years tenure of the previous Government. He also urged the Chief Minister to develop his area from tourism point of view. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ajay Kumar detailed various activities being executed by the State Forests Department.MLAs Inder Singh Gandhi and Surinder Shourie, Vice Chairman HPMC Ram Singh, Chairperson Child Welfare Council Payal Vaidya, Chairman Zila Parishad Mandi Sarla Thakur, Chairman Wakaf Board Rajbali, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Wild Life Savita, Director Social Justice and Empowerment Rajesh Sharma, DC Kullu Dr Richa Verma, Additional Deputy Commissioner Mandi Ashutosh Garg, Conservator Forests Mandi Upsna Patiyal were present on the occasion among others.