50 lakh trees planted during last two years to increase green cover

JK News Today

Jammu, November 21:

Known for his strict style of functioning, Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh has said that there will be no sympathy and mercy for timber smugglers and those involved in encroachment of forest land in Jammu and Kashmir.

Minister said that several steps are being taken to protect the green gold of state which was under threat of land mafia.

This was stated by Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh in an exclusive interview to JK New Today

He said that keeping in mind the environmental protection, Jammu and Kashmir has so far planted 50 lakh trees across the state during last two years to boost area under green cover which has been appreciated by the entire country.

“There will be no sympathy or mercy for the smugglers and encroachers who have taken government for granted and strong action is being taken against land mafia who are destroying our green gold”, said Lal Singh.

He said that basic aim of massive plantation drive is to increase the cover of trees and also create a mechanism to stop smugglers to operate in respective areas.

“Since becoming the Minister I have said that priority is augmentation of forest cover and optimal utilization of all available resources to prevent environmental pollution. Now we are planning to plant 50 thousand trees in cold areas of the state”, said Minister.

On steps taken to curb air pollution, Minister said that government has directed all the brick kilns to setup Pollution Control Devices which have been appreciated by the people. “Still some brick kilns are not following our order and several of them have been closed down. We have made it mandatory that no truck or trolley should be allowed to transport construction material without covering it”, he said.

He said that Forest Department is making plans to plant Deodar and fruit plants in forests to support the animals so that they are able to get food. “Development of nurseries with fruit, ornamental and deodar plants in each district and tehsil would help the Forest Department in generating income resources”.

On his ambitious project to give Jammu and Kashmir its first zoo at Manda, on outskirts of Jammu, Minister said that it will be completed in next few years and will be a showcase  which will be appreciated by the world.

“The zoo was sanctioned in 2012, but it was never taken up. Since PDP-BJP government took charge of the state progress has been made in the project. Around 10000 kanals of land will be brought under the zoo and environmental park”, Singh said.

Minister said that officers have been directed for devising innovative techniques to prevent the erosion and loss of forest land besides constructing check dams and plantation of soil binder plants especially in areas which are prone to landslides.