Jammu: Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta Tuesday said that the ‘Green India Mission’ was being implemented in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time.
Chairing a meeting to review the functioning of various wings of the Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment Department, Mehta said that under the ‘Green India Mission’, the department would work towards increasing forest cover and improving ecosystem services including biodiversity conservation, hydrological services, and carbon sequestration.
He said that the forest-based livelihood income would also be boosted and alternate fuel energy would be provided to 10,000 households.
The chief secretary said that the mission would be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 372.22 crore and would cover 32,420 hectares of land.
He asked the Forest Department to ensure convergence between the forest management committee, biodiversity management committee, and panchayat plantation committees.
Mehta directed the Forest Department to enhance forest-based livelihood by generating 5 crore man-days employment in convergence with the Rural Development Department, Jal Shakti Department, Agriculture, and allied departments, and Mission Youth.
He emphasised proper conservation and management of all 650 wetlands of J&K and greater integration of different wings of the department including Forest, Soil Conservation, Wildlife, Pollution Control Board (PCB), and Social Forestry.
The chief secretary directed the Forest Department to activate Village Panchayat Plantation Committees in all 4290 Panchayats and promote monthly dialogues to evolve region-specific sustainable development models.
To ensure widespread people’s participation in government initiatives, he asked the department to adopt a multi-disciplinary convergence model, linking school-level eco clubs, Village Panchayat Plantation Committees and MGNREGA works to various plantation and protection drives.
The chief secretary asked the Forest Department to evolve a strategy for phased rehabilitation of degraded forest land and fallow land through community participation and ownership.
He directed the department to expedite the preparation of the City Biodiversity Index, Local Biodiversity Strategy, and Action Plan for the twin capital cities.
Mehta directed the Soil and Water Conservation Department to undertake extensive afforestation of the catchment areas of the water resources being developed under the Jal Jeevan Mission for maintaining a healthy water cycle and promoting natural recharge of both the surface and underground water.