Plant nurseries have potential to push economy: Minister

RAMBAN: Nurseries of fruit and other plants developed at areas where forest cover is available have the potential of boosting economy of the State in general and income of the forest department in particular.
This was stated by Minister of Forests, Environment and Ecology Choudhary Lal Singh while inspecting compartment 12-Batote nursery along Batote-Doda Road stretch here on Saturday.
Choudhary Lal Singh was accompanied by District Development Commissioner Ramban Mohammad Aijaz besides Senior Superintendent of Police Randeep Kumar and other senior officers.
He exhorted upon the officers to develop ornamental and medicinal plant nurseries on modern lines with the help of locally prepared manure. In this regard, he stressed for growing nurseries of plants like Cedrus Deodar, Kail, Brami, Salis, Ulmus, HC Nut and other fruit plants.
Choudhary Lal Singh said that Batote nursery should be extended upto maximum forest cover so that about 10 lakh plants of different size and category be planted there.
He asked the forest officers to explore the possibility of developing Poly-Houses and Shade nets, Vermi-compost units and other innovative techniques for developing and widening nurseries.
Expressing concern over destruction of land due to land slide at Batote, he said that it is the need of the hour to plant more and more trees on such areas to bring back the green beauty and vast resources of the forest land.
Referring to the open forest cover especially at Patnitop and Sanasar, he asked the forest agencies to plant fir, deodar and other trees keeping in view their sustainability and climatic conditions.
Choudhary Lal Singh instructed the officers to construct check dams over the nallas which are passing through forests to save them from sudden slides causing destruction to the forest land.
Terming the widening of National Highway (NH44) a significant step, he asked the officers to check the feasibility of planting  rose, water brush and other flower plants along NH on its widening and successful completion.
Terming ozone hole a big threat to life on earth, Choudhary Lal Singh said that it is the joint responsibility of the all human beings to the keep the sustainability of natural environment alive and intact which is only possible by our loving attitude towards the nature.
Talking tough on encroachment of forest land, he said that even an inch of forest land shall not be allowed to be encroached and a demarcation shall be fixed between grazing and non grazing forest covers, he maintained.
He also instructed for close watch on the illegal felling of tress and transportation of timber and other forest assets. He also stressed for proper management, closing and proper fencing of forest covers to reduce the apprehension of any type of malpractices.
Referring to various man-animal conflicts, he said that it is prime responsibility of all to save the wild life by developing forest covers otherwise the animals will certainly venture into human habitations endangering the life of both humans and domestic animals.
He was accompanied byincluded Chief Conservator of Forest, Roshan Jaggi, Director Forest Protection Force S.K. Gupta, Regional Wild Life Warden, Ashwani Gupta, Regional Director Social Forestry Roop Avtar Kour besides various other officers and officials of forest department.