130th Foundation day of J&K Forest Department
SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha Sunday called for bringing in new avenues like Ecotourism, promotion of Wood-Based Industries, Non-Timber Forest Products under the ambit of J&K Forest Department to further enhance the contribution of forest sector in the economic growth of Jammu and Kashmir.
The LG was speaking during the commemoration of Foundation day of J&K Forest Department “130 Years of Dedicated Service” programme held here at Raj Bhavan.
The occasion witnessed the release of documentary on ‘Chinar’ emphasizing awareness and promotion of plantation of Chinar, Special Cover prepared by Department of Post, India, besides launching of “One Beat Guard-One Village” programme by the Lt Governor.
Multiple publications including Booklets on Green Jammu & Kashmir Drive 2020-21, Forest Huts of J&K-2021 and J&K Forest Law Compendium Volume- I & II, giving much needed insight covering various aspects of Forest sector in J&K were also released to mark the day. Online booking portal for J&K Forest Huts was also inaugurated on the occasion.
Stressing upon maintaining a perfect balance between nature and development, the Lt Governor termed the role of Forest Department as vital in this regard and further asked the concerned functionaries to explore methods for minimizing the adverse impacts of development.
Jammu and Kashmir is on the path of rapid development. Taking Governance to the doorstep of people is the top-most priority of the UT Government. To achieve the desired results, there is need to put special focus on Jan-Bhagidhari and active involvement of grass root level institutions like Village Panchayats in Natural Resource Management, said the Lt Governor.
He appreciated the Forest Department for carrying out afforestation works with involvement of Village Panchayats.
While speaking on safeguarding the livelihood of the people depending on the forests, the Lt Governor observed that with more than half of the area of Jammu and Kashmir under forest and tree cover, the lives of people are closely linked to the forests. They also expect timely delivery of services such as firewood, fodder and timber, he added.
The Lt Governor underlined the importance of implementing Forest Rights Act in letter and spirit in a time-bound manner. He directed the concerned officials to take stringent action against those encroaching prime forest lands.
Taking note of the focused attention required for development and preservation of Chaar Chinar in world famous Dal lake of Srinagar, the Lt Governor instructed the department for taking Technical expertise in this regard.
Stressing on exploring the possibility of making Dachigam a more accessible local destination, the Lt Governor asked the Forest officials to open the area for tourism purposes on permission basis through online mode.