Lal Singh for regular patrolling of forests to avoid encroachment, theft of timber

JAMMU, APRIL 08-Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Choudhary Lal Singh has directed the officers of Forest department to ensure regular patrolling of forests to avoid theft of timber, encroachment and fire.
This was stated by the Minister while interacting with the officers of Forest Department, State Forest Corporation, Soil Conservation, Wild Life, Pollution Control Board and Forest Protection Force during his inspection tour of Nurseries, Divisional Forest Officers offices of Kathua district, here today.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, A K Singh, Chairman Pollution Control Board Abdul Razaq Khan, Director Forest Protection Force Suresh Gupta, Chief Conservator of Forests Eco- Tourism A K Gupta, Director Environment O P Sharma, Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu Roshan Jaggi, Chief Conservator of Forests, Kashmir Nissar Darzi, Managing Director State Forest Corporation, Arun Tickoo, Director Soil Conservation, J&K Ravi Kesar, Director Social Forestry, J&K Suresh Chugh,, Chief Wild Life Warden Deepak Khanna besides other senior officers of the Forest and its allied departments accompanied the Minister.
Minister directed the officers of forest and its allied departments to work with utmost, dedication and honesty so that the protection of the green wealth is ensured. He also directed for proper dress code of the rangers and guards of the department during duty hours. He asked for proper display of forest data and various products of the department for the knowledge of general masses.
Choudhary Lal Singh asked the officers to launch plantation drive for ornamental and medicinal plants alongside the roads of hilly areas with the active support of local people and other stakeholders under Public Private Partnership. He said plantation drive would be a regular feature and the department has already identified the worst affected areas. He said Government has chalked out a comprehensive plan to rejuvenate the degraded forests across the state.
The Minister has asked the officers for digging of hand-pumps and constructing ponds for proper irrigation in nurseries and forests.
Choudhary Lal Singh said that environment and climate change were among the biggest challenges concerning the world and efforts are being made to effectively deal with this hazard.
Earlier, the Minister also inspected the Forest Check Post at Lakhanpur and office of the Deputy Director Protection Force at Kathua and directed the authorities for speedy disposal of seized stocks, animals and vehicles under norms after imposing penalty to the defaulters. He asked for providing people friendly administration to the people so that they do not feel any inconvenience.
Responding to the demand of locals of Kathua and Harya Chak in Hiranagar, Choudhary Lal Singh issued instructions to the concerned officers to open one timber depot at Kathua and one at Mareen of Hiranagar tehsil areas.
The Minister also visited Jasrota and asked the concerned authorities to renovate the pond near the Shiv Temple and plantation of ornamental medicinal plants around the pond.
Choudhary Lal Singh also visited the holy shrine of Chandika Mata at village Sahar-Logate.
Extending greetings to the people in general and pilgrims in particular on Navratras, Choudhary Lal Singh said that the festival provides an opportunity to the visiting Yatris to have a glimpse of our rich cultural heritage and peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths. The minister said the shrine of Chandika Mata would be developed into a beautiful religious place. He said efforts are being made by the present coalition Government to create additional infrastructural facilities at religious spots to meet the increasing rush of pilgrims effectively.
Lauding the role of Mata Chandika Temple Committee, Choudhary Lal Singh Singh said that Navratra Festivals could not be successful without the active participation of the locals. The minister also inspected various development works inside the temple premises and directed DFO Kathua, Ashwani Kumar to plant trees along the path of Mata Chandika Temple.
The Minister also took stock of various problems faced by the locals and assured them of all possible help from the Government and said that their genuine problems would be mitigated in a phased manner.

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