JAMMU, MARCH 8: The department of Social Forestry today organized a special plantation drive along the National Highway Ring Road NH-44, at Chak Avtara Gram Panchayat to mark celebration of International Women’s Day.
Over 300 participants including volunteers of women SHGs, girl students, representatives of PRIs, staff of Social Forestry and NHAI, Eco Club members, Van Mitras, womenfolk of adjoining villages and their children took part in the drive.
Also, the members of Indian Forest Service Officer’s Wives Association (IFSOWA) participated in the plantation programme organized under the theme “Ped Lagao Beti Ke Naam”, an initiative of J&K government to involve women and girls in afforestation, environmental conservation and awareness generation.
On the occasion, more than 1000 tree saplings of various species were planted. The locals rendered their valuable support and pledged to protect the plantation.
Principal Chief Conservator Forest and Director Social Forestry, Roshan Jaggi, was the chief guest on the occasion.
While speaking on the occasion, PCCF appreciated the whole hearted support and participation of gram panchayat members and local women and other stakeholders in carrying out the plantation event successfully. He stated that under Social Forestry’s various initiatives, efforts are being made to scale up tree plantation on lands belonging to Gram Panchayats and also promote plantation on farmer’s land. “Gram Panchyats are playing proactive role in active engagement of local people to take up afforestation as a gainful farming enterprise to increase their income and enhance livelihood opportunities in rural areas”, he added.
District Development Council member Bishnah, Dharminder Pal, Regional Director, National Highways Authority of Indian, Rohin Gupta, Ravi Kesar, Advisor NHAI and officers of Social Forestry and NHAI were also present .
Regional Director NHAI said that as part of collaborative efforts of both organizations, a big initiative has been taken up in J&K to raise plantations along newly constructed Highways including Jammu- Udhampur, Qazigund – Srinagar and Jammu Ring road stretches. It is as per policy of Government of India to develop green highways to reduce pollution, sequester carbon and enhance the safety and experience of travelling.
As special attraction of the program, the women planted saplings on the name of their daughters and pledged to protect them and carry forward this initiative in other villages also.
Pertinently, under J&K Green Drive, Har Gaon Haryali, Van Se Jal Jal Se Jeevan initiatives various wings of J&K Forest department are actively involved in plantation, water conservation and rain water harvesting and free distribution of saplings in villages with involvement of GPs.
During the current year, 1.35 crore saplings are being planted, water harvesting structures constructed and fodder augmentation activities are being taken up in all 4291 GPS across all districts of J&K. The local people are getting benefitted by way of free fodder, fuel wood, timber and contribution to GP Fund as proceeds from mature plantations.