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Chinar Day observed in Baramulla:Dheeraj Gupta launches mega plantation drive

BARAMULLA, MARCH 15: Principal Secretary Forest, Environment and Ecology, Dheeraj Gupta, today visited Baramulla and launched mega plantation drive at Fatehgarh Sheeri

The plantation drive marked the celebration of Chinar Day which was organized by the Forest department in collaboration with district administration, Baramulla.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr Mohit Gira and other officers of the department were also present on the occasion.

Principal Secretary planted Chinar sapling in Panchayat Ghar Fatehgarh Sheeri and distributed Chinar saplings among the people to commemorate the celebration of Chinar Day.

While addressing the gathering, Dheeraj Gupta said that the Chinar trees have huge environmental and cultural significance which is embedded in our heritage and culture. It enjoys special status in our lives, therefore, we must accord primacy to its preservation by carrying out its propagation on a large scale.

On the occasion, Principal Secretary was briefed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests that the department has launched Chinar promotion and conservation programme in which Chinar saplings are being raised in nurseries and distributed and planted on available land. He was also  informed that Forest Research Institute has initiated geo-tagging of Chinars in Kashmir Valley in which Chinars are marked, geo-tagged, characterized and allotted unique IDs.

On the occasion, Principal Secretary released ‘Chinar Brochure’ prepared by the Forest Research Institute. He also distributed seed balls and fruit trees among the beneficiaries of ‘one beat guard one village’ programme and distributed solar lights among members of Village Forest Committees of Uri and Boniyar.

It was informed that the plantation drive was launched on 50 hectare of degraded forest land with participation of CRPF, Forest Protection Force, students and PRI’s.

Principal Secretary emphasized that tree planting target of 1.5 crore must be achieved under Green J&K drive during the current financial year.

Earlier, Principal Secretary chaired a coordination meeting of forest department and district administration to address the forest matters of Baramulla

Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar, highlighted forest related issues and said that the pendency of forest clearance cases would be expedited so that the works under Jal Jeevan Mission may be timely completed.

Principal Secretary directed the concerned to expedite forest clearances of JJM cases, remove forest encroachments in a time bound manner, complete boundary consolidation in two years and remove pendency of FRA cases.

The meeting was attended by Asaf Mehmood, Director Forest Research Institute, T Rabi Kumar, Additional Chief Conservator of Forests Kashmir, Irfan Rasool, Conservator of Forests North, Pervaiz Wani, DFO JV Forest Division Baramulla and other officers of the department.