JAMMU, SEPTEMBER 07, 2020: Forest Department today conducted two monsoon plantation drives at Compartment 10/Rkt, Makwal, and Compartment 44/Blr, Sulari in Billawar and Basohli Forest Divisions, respectively, with the involvement of Panchayati Raj Institution representatives.

Around 2200 saplings of local species like Chir, Sheesham, Amla, Kral, Khair etc. were planted. During the current year, Billawar and Basohli Forest Divisions shall carry out plantation and allied activities aimed at increasing green cover and prevention of soil erosion on 428 Ha forest area with a plantation target of about 1.67 lakh saplings. The involvement of people and innovative greening interventions like use of seed balls will be the important component of the scheme.

PCCF (HoFF), J&K Dr. Mohit Gera, led these plantation program in presence of Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K, Suresh Kumar Gupta; Conservator of Forests, East Circle, Jammu, Samuel Changkija; besides DFO Billawar, DFO Basohli, DFO Kathua and DFO Samba Forest Divisions and the concerned field staff.

Block Development Council Chairperson, Nagrota Gujroo and Sarpanches from Nine Panchayats viz. Sialna, Rajwalta, Kah, Kashed, Salore, Kandharnoo, Makwal, Mahanpur-B and Dambra West along with the panchs and local villagers whole-heartedly participated in the plantation programmes. Besides, the president and members of a prominent local NGO, Lakhri Yuva Sangathan Society also participated in the plantation programme at Makwal.

Earlier, the PCCF (HoFF) interacted with PRI representatives and local villagers. He informed them about the steps being taken by the J&K Forest Department towards improving the green cover, sharing of the forest usufructs with the local villagers and low-cost innovation in greening methods with the active involvement of thePRIs.

He also impressed upon the importance of different stakeholders, viz Panchayats, VFCs, BMCs and forest staff for the protection and management of the forests of J&K. The PCCF (HoFF), J&K appreciated the participation of the PRIs and locals during both the plantation programmes. He also interacted with the participating field staff of Billawar, Basohli and Kathua Forest Divisions and apprised them about the steps being taken by Forest Department for recognition of their services.