Commissioner Secretary, Forests, Ecology and Environment, Sanjeev Verma, today inspected afforestation and other development works various kandi and border belts of Kathua district.He was accompanied by Roshan Jaggi, Principal Chief Conservator Forests/Director, Department of Social Forestry, J&K, T S Ashok, Assistant Principal Chief Conservator Forests /Director, Department of Soil and Water Conservation, B M Sharma, Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu, Regional Director, Social Forestry Department, Jammu, Joint Director, Soil and Water Conservation Department, Divisional Forest Officers of Social Forestry, Territorial Samba and Basohli, Wild Life Warden Kathua, DSCO Kathua and ACD, Kathua.
Commissioner Secretary inspected the Nagar van created by the Social Forestry Department at Baba Sidh Goria and a 12 hectare RDF unit formed in compt. No. 12 and 13 under State Capex. He directed the officers to add basic amenities in the existing Nagar van besides creating more such Nagar Vans in other areas.
Earlier, Commissioner Secretary launched plantation drive by planting a sapling of “Peepal” plant in the premises of Baba Sidh Goria shrine.Other dignitaries present on the occasion included Vice Chairperson, District Development Council Kathua, Raghunandan Singh who also planted saplings of Silver Oak, Borh, Chinar, Kadhamb, Amla and Bael in the shrine premises.
PRIs, Chairmen,VPPCs, locals raised various demands regarding formation of bridle paths, check dams, ponds and new plantation units. They also appreciated the efforts of the department in raising various plantation units, ponds and check dams in their areas besides providing plant saplings during the monsoon.
Addressing the gathering, Commissioner Secretary appreciated the role of PRIs in conservation of green gold in the area. He asked the PRIs, VPPCs chairmen to identify available common, community, Shamlaat areas and their private lands for raising plantation of short rotation hybrid species of Poplar and Eucalyptus which would yield good economic returns as various Ply Wood Industries are coming up in Kathua in coming days.
He issued directions to the Department of Social Forestry to raise and distribute good quality hybrid clones of Poplar and Eucalyptus among the interested farmers of the area. He also asked the Soil and Water Conservation department to prepare estimates and PRs for construction of Pond nearby Baba Sidh Goria and project the same in the budget.
He also asked for construction of more chek dams in the suitable locations as projected by various Sarpanchs of the areas.Raghunandan Singh also spoke on the occasion and stressed the need for collective efforts towards raising plantations and conservation of natural resources.
Roshan Jaggi appealed the PRIs and general public to identify and share available waste common, community and shaamlat lands so that Social Forestry Department can fence and make plantation of good quality hybrid clones of Poplar and eucalyptus there which can be harvested within 5-7 years.
While inspecting the Mathura Chuck nursery of Social Forestry department, Commissioner Secretary directed to enhance plant production in the nursery besides ensuring extraction of mature Eucalyptus plantations and mature wood lots.
He stressed for construction of Farmers Extension center near Mathura Chuck. He appreciated the department for raising good quality hybrid clones of Poplar in the nursery for plantation and distribution as well.
Later, Commissioner Secretary inspected the pond constructed by the Department of Soil and Water Conservation at Marheen.