Minister for Forest Environment and Ecology Choudhary Lal Singh on Saturday said that Government is keen to develop city forest area as a prime attraction for eco-tourists and adventure lovers.
"Zabarwan hills will be soon get green cover improvement with fresh life," he said.
The Minister said this after taking the review meeting of plantation drive a day earlier at civil secretariat today trekked on the tough terrains. He took stock of the forest areas and asked officials to begin the plantation drive soon.
He said that department would undertake massive plantation drive in and alongside Zabarwan hills and focus on tree lining for improving the green cover, saying that he would personally monitor the progress of the work.
The Minister along with the officials of Forest and its allied wings begin the trek from famous Pari Mahal foothills which later commenced at Kral Sangri plantation nursery. The Minister was accompanied by Chief Conservator of Forests, Kashmir, Nissar Ahmed Darzi, CCF Demarcation, Warden, Dachigam National Park, Tahir Shawl, DFO Urban Circle, Hakim Mukhtar Ahmad along with other senior officials of the Forest and its allied wings.
The Minister ordered that the department should make it mandatory to plant 15 lakh various variety of plants in and around the famed Zabarwan hills.
He ordered officials to work for the development of city forest area. He said that Forest officers have been directed to start a massive plantation drive and work on target basis. The Minister asked the officials to put in concerted efforts and mobilize the available resources for taking up plantation drive in and alongside Zabarwan hills. Singh also asked them to immediately start plantation drive in degraded forest areas of their respective jurisdictions.
The Minister also urged officials to have a liaison with the public over launching massive plantation drive across the region. He said that public participation is vital for preservation of environment.
Later the Minister directed officials to keep close check on the smugglers who were destroying the forests by taking undue advantage of the ongoing unrest in Kashmir region.