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Kumar reviews functioning of Forest department, allied wings

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Discusses action plan of SMPB, inaugurates Video-conferencing facility at PCCF office Srinagar

SRINAGAR, JULY 16: Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar today visited Forest Bhawan and reviewed the functioning of Forest department and its allied wings at a meeting convened with all HoD’s, senior officers and field functionaries. He also inaugurated the facility of Video-conferencing at PCCF office.

During the meeting, the Advisor separately reviewed the functioning of State Medicinal Plant Board (SMPB) and discussed the proposed action plan to strengthen this important body.

The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary Forests Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, PCCF J&K Suresh Chugh, Chairman JKSPCB Ravi Kesar, heads of all wings of Forest department, CCF Kashmir Farooq Gillani, CEO SMPB T Rabi Kumar, Director Finance R S Bali and other senior officers.

On the occasion, a detailed presentation was made by Chief Conservator of Forest and CEO SMPB T Rabi Kumar about its background, working of Board, its activities, and proposed action plan for 2019-20. Threadbare discussions were held on the objectives of SMPB, its functioning, steps required to strengthen the Board and coordination among all stakeholders especially all the wings of Forest department etc.

It was informed that SMPB is working with the objective of policy formulation, sustainable use of medicinal plants, addressing improper marketing of medicinal plants, coordination with other departments ensuring sustained availability and use of medicinal plants, checking the erosion of natural resources & degradation of resources in the wild.

With regards to the functions of SMPB and its focused areas, a proposed action plan for the current year was presented before the meeting on which detailed discussion held and suggestions were sought from all the participants.

The Advisor asked CEO SMPB to study the models being adopted in the other states and by National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) and to adopt the best practices of them here in our Board.

It was told that in the coming time, SMPB would work for establishing market linkages, organize buyer-seller meets and make the farmers aware about cultivable and marketable plants.

Addressing the meeting, the Advisor stressed for adopting holistic approach towards medicinal and aromatic plants so that the objective can be achieved in a real sense. He also asked for having strong Advisory Committee so that the Board with their inputs moves in a right direction. A small but efficient research team in the Board should also be created for carrying out research activities and to be abreast of happenings in the medicinal plant sector.

During the discussion, it was decided that inventorization of medicinal plants existing in the state in terms of quantity available must be done, efforts of all need to be put in a coordinated manner for strengthening the Board.

Much larger output is required at every level for which coordinated but strong efforts needed from all, the Advisor said adding that it is our collective responsibility to pitch in wherever is possible so that a positive headway can be made and desired results be achieved.

All the officers were directed to pass on any input/suggestion to CEO SMPB so that same can be studied or adopted accordingly for the development of the Board.

The Advisor on the occasion also inaugurated the Video-Conferencing facility at PCCF office after which CCF Jammu office was linked to the facility for the participation of the officers based in Jammu in the meetings.

Later, the Advisor along with Commissioner Secretary Forests interacted with all HoD’s and field functionaries including Conservator of Forests, Divisional Forest Officers and other concerned officers of various wings of Forest department.

During this marathon meeting, the Advisor reviewed functioning of Forest department in Kashmir division including its physical and financial achievements, plantation activities, progress of encroachment eviction drives, details of forest offences and its comparison with past years, details of forest fires reported, firewood position, plantation of plants in various nurseries, status of Chinar Conservation Project, plantation in degraded forests and other activities.

While addressing the participants, the Advisor strongly directed all the filed functionaries to act tough against the forest encroachers and people indulged in forest offences. Each other’s support for this purpose wherever required must be provided by all, so that the illegal activities happening in the forest areas be stopped immediately, he added.

All the HoD’s also briefed the Advisor about functioning of their departments/wings and raised various issues which needs to be addressed immediately for smooth functioning of their wings.

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