One Day Workshop on “Livelihood Needs and Forest Conservation” : Mian Altaf

ALTAF-18JAMMU :  Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment, Mian Altaf Ahmad today called upon the officers of forest department to take due care of the needs of the people living near the forests while implementing forest conservation programmes in the State.
Addressing participants at one dayworkshop on “Livelihood Needs and Forest Conservation”, organized by forest department here today, he said that department has done commendable work for preservation and expansion of the state’s green cover adding that it achieved notable success in curbing timber smuggling. He said that this has become possible only with the active support of the people living near forest areas.
Mian Altaf said that during past five years the department, with better inter departmental coordination and public support, broughtdown the timber smuggling to zero even in the critical areas of the State. He said land encroachment was rampant in Jammu division but the joint efforts of different wings of the department forced encroachers to stay away from this illegal practice.
Underlining need for self-auditing, the Minister asked officers to improve the working environment in their respective subordinate offices and dispose of the cases, received by the min a time bound manner. He said development projects coming up in the state should not suffer for want of forest clearance and asked officers to suggest alternative where it is not feasible for them to issue clearance rather keeping the cases pending un-necessarily. He asked them to clarify their view point in relevant forms and also suggest alternate so that project is taken forward.
Mian Altaf said that construction of roads and other developmental projects is a perpetual process and enjoined upon the officers to ensure that massive afforestation was launched in the areas where forest land is acquired for development purposes.
Referring to the timber needs of the people, the Minister asked officers concerned to streamline the distribution of timber, particularly under C-zone. He said making available timber on depots will reduce pressure on jungles, adding that this way department will succeed in total eradication of timber smuggling.
The Minister said that ban on planting of medicinal plants need to be re-visited so that people associated with the trade could take up this practice as their means of livelihood.
Earlier, Principal Chief Conservator Forests, through a power point presentation, gave detailed account of the activities of the forest department and suggested measures for improving the working of forest sector.
Secretary Forests, Chairman SPCB, CCF Wildlife, MD SFC, Director SFRI, Director FPF, CCF Jammu, Director, EE & RS, Chief Conservator (wildlife) Jammu, Director Social Forestry besides other senior officers of different wings of the department were present on the occasion.