Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti kick started a massive plantation drive by the Forest Department in the Zabarwan hills here today.
The Chief Minister planted a conifer sapling to formally launch the drive and gave her blessings to the success of the programme.
On the occasion, Minister for Forests, Ecology & Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh explained the various features of the plantation drive to the Chief Minister.
About 2.5 lakh saplings of various types would be planted in the entire Zabarwan-Shakracharya range this year under the plantation drive which has been dedicated to former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for his keen interest in preserving Natural resources of the State.
In her address, Mehbooba Mufti complimented the Forest Department for launching the programme saying afforestation is critical for a state like Jammu & Kashmir whose survival is heavily dependent on plant life and biodiversity. Also Jammu & Kashmir being a tourist State maintaining proper green cover is all the more important for us, she said.
The Chief Minister advised the Department to covert the plantation drive into a public movement involving school children and all other sections of the society. She suggested planting of a sapling by each family on the birth of a new baby to ensure participation of general public in the programme.
Mehbooba Mufti said it was a matter of joy that the Wullar conservation project to be launched soon would restore the ecological system of the world famous lake to a great extent and also improve the carrying capacity of river Jhelum.
In his address, Minister for Forests, Ecology & Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh said the Forest Department has embarked on a massive afforestation drive across the State under which around three lakh saplings would be planted this this year in the Zabarwan area alone. He said he takes pride in working under the leadership of late Mufti sahib who had great dreams for its people.
Minister of State for Forests & Environment, Mir Zahoor Ahmad also spoke on the occasion.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, A. K. Singh, CCFs; senior officers of Forest Department and Nature lovers were present on the occasion.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister honoured many jawans of Forest Protection Force for their dedicated service.