Lal Singh concludes extensive tour of Ladakh region

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Stresses for cleanliness of lakes, protection of wild life, rare species in region

SRINAGAR, AUGUST 24: Minister for Forest, Ecology & Environment Choudhary Lal Singh concluded his weeklong tour of Ladakh division. During the extensive tour, the Minister visited Leh, Kargil and Ladakh to review the measures being taken by the department to conserve the wild life species of the area and also inspected various forest plantation sites.

At Kargil, the Minister visited forest plantation sites and inspected the plantation done by the department. He took stock of the variety and quantity of plantation done by Forest and Wildlife departments and directed to undertake experiments and maximum plantation in huge variety by developing a suitable environment.

The Minister directed for increasing forest cover within fixed targets and for developing of nurseries in the region. Locals of the area also met the Minister and put forth issues pertaining to the development of the area.

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He also convened meeting with the officers of the department to review the functioning and problems faced in performing their duties.

Speaking on the issue of shortage of man power in Pollution Control Board offices in the division, the Minister said that soon two posts one in each Ladakh and Kargil would be filled.

During the tour, the Minister visited various lakes in the region and asked the officials to ensure cleanliness around the water bodies to attract tourists keeping in mind environment issues.

Lal Singh also visited scenic Tso Moriri lake in Leh, which is about 4,000 meters above sea level and attracts a range of wildlife, including Black Necked Cranes. During the visit the Minister also issued instructions for a cleanliness drive to ensure cleanliness in and around the lake. He also visited Tso Kar Lake situated in the Rupshu valley in the southern part of Ladakh.

To ensure the sustenance of rare species of Black Necked Cranes in the area, the Minister informed that a plan has been formulated to demarcate the area where these birds can lay their eggs. It was informed to the Minister that the unwanted population of dogs in the area has posed a threat to this one the rare species.

The Minister instructed the department to take steps to control the increasing population of dogs in the area so that it not only saves the rare birds but also lessens the man-animal conflict. He also said that plan to save the Snow leopards has also been formulated and soon two rescue centres will be open up at Leh and Kargil.

”Tourists in large number even from foreign countries are visiting here to see the Snow Leopards and the department is taking steps to ensure safety of these wildlife animals”, the Minister said.

During the tour, Lal Singh also visited Nubra valley where he interacted with the people own double-hump camels. The animal is exclusively found in this region of Ladakh and acts as a major attraction for both domestic and international tourists. The Minister listened to the issues of people and assured that all necessary steps will be taken to further attracts tourists and improve tourism and infrastructure in the region.

The Minister also visited Turtuk-northernmost village, in Leh district. He met with the local people and enquired about the facilities being provided by the government. The Minister listened to their issues and assured that all genuine demands will be looked into and redressed accordingly.

To promote the concept of eco tourism in the region, Lal Singh said that the department has already provided solar boilers and solar lights to the people of villages. He said that the people are earning good livelihood through tourism activities and government especially forest department is rendering every kind of help to them in this regard. Locals welcomed the Minister and thanked him for visiting the village and for listening to their issues and demands.

During his visit the Minister also visited one of the nomadic schools in the area and distributed solar boiler and solar lights. The people demanded for upgradation of middle school which the Minister has assured to take up the issue with concerned department.

The Minister expressed his satisfaction after completing the tour and said it would greatly help in improving the functioning of the department in the region which presents a continuous challenge of having a hilly terrain. The Minister was optimistic that the visit would provide requisite information to the concerned so that marked improved would be seen in terms of future plantation drives carried out in these areas.

Choudhary Lal Singh assured that the present dispensation in general and Forest Department in particular is keen and are making all possible efforts for preservations of wild-life and protection of rare species in the region.

Expressing satisfaction with the performance of the staff, The Minister said that although the department is doing a commendable job, however, there is always scope for improvement, adding maintaining a professional attitude always takes department to next level.

The Minister was accompanied by Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Ravi Kaiser, Managing Director SFC Suresh Gupta, Regional Wildlife Warden Rashid Naqash and senior officers of Forest Department.

No: PR/DI/17/4687/

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