WORLD ARBOUR DAY
Govt enforced its writ against timber smugglers: Altaf
‘EFFORTS ON TO SAVE FORESTS IN JK’
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, Mar 21: The Minister of Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Monday said the Government has been successful to enforce writ against the timber smugglers in the state and maintained that measures were underway to save the forests from further vandalization.
“Our critics wonder what for the Forest Survey on India awarded the Jammu and Kashmir Government? I want to tell that when I took over this department, the timbers smugglers were at the helm of affairs in Pir Panchal, Shopian and Rafiabad forests. The whole system has collapsed there. I take pride in the fact that the Government has succeeded in enforcing writ in these forests,” said Altaf who was the chief guest at a function to mark the 36th World Arbour Day at SP College here.
However, Altaf minced no words in acknowledging that lack of manpower in the Forest and its allied departments hampered the efforts to preserve and expand the forests. “Due to vandalization of forests the Forest department has lost its credibility as a result the Central and the State Governments kept its reorganization lingering. The problem was compounded due to lack of direct recruitments in the department. I am trying my level best to remove the bottlenecks for smooth functioning of the department,” he said.
Altaf impressed upon the officers of Forest and its allied departments to achieve the targets fixed for undertaking plantations in the Valley. “We are utilizing our resources and expertise in raising our native forest species in our nurseries. They will be made available for the people to promote their cultivation in every place in the Valley,” he added.
On the occasion, Altaf launched a ceremonial tree planting drive during which deodar and poplar trees were planted in the college premises.
Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Showkat Ahmad Mir expressed concern over the vandalization of forests in Doodhpathri. “A large chunk of forests is denuded in Doodhpathri forests. However, there is still hope of protection of forests in the Valley,” he said.
The Director Social Forestry, Abhay Kumar underscored the importance of preserving the forests. He said the department has raised over ten lakh additional plants this year to facilitate the expansion of tree cover outside the forest areas.
The Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo, threw light on climate change due to destruction of forests. He called for spreading awareness among the people particularly students about the need to preserve environment. The Principal SP College, Zahoor Ahmad Chatt, highlighted the activities of the institute towards preservation of the environment. Later certificates were given to the students who obtained first five positions in a seminar on forest preservation.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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