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Sanjeev Verma interacts with VFCs, PRIs at Kathua

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KATHUA: Commissioner Secretary Forests, Ecology and Environment, Sanjeev Verma, conducted an extensive tour of Kathua and interacted with the Village Forest Committees (VFCs), Village Panchayat Plantation Committees (VPPCs) and public representatives.

Commissioner Secretary Forests was accompanied by Director Social Forestry, Roshan Jaggi; Director Soil and Water Conservation, Dr T.S. Ashok Kumar; Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), Jammu, B.M. Sharma; Regional Director Social Forestry, Mohinder Gupta; Joint Director Soil and Water Conservation, Abhijit Joshi; DFO Kathua, Vivek Modi and DFO Basohli, Ashwani Kumar.

Commissioner Secretary interacted with the PRIs of Logate, Sahar and Sher Kotla panchayats besides the local people.

They raised several issues before the Commissioner Secretary which inter alia included monkey menace, plantation of fruit plants in forest areas; establishment of ponds and water harvesting structures in kandi region and related issues.

He gave a patient hearing to problems and demands raised by the PRIs assuring an early redressal of the same.

Commissioner Secretary directed the DFOs to identify areas in consultation with the panchayats for taking up plantations.

Sanjeev Verma, during his visit to Hariya Chak Forest Nursery, stressed the need for enhancing the plant production of quality saplings besides upgradation and modernization of the nursery.

CCF, Jammu, apprised the Commissioner Secretary that only the local species mix is being preferred in all the forest nurseries in Jammu region.

Commissioner Secretary, during his visit to Wildlife Training Centre, Jasrota, took stock of progress on ongoing Green India Mission in Kathua District.

He was apprised that work on rehabilitation of 271 hectares of severely degraded forest area, spread over three Forest divisions of Kathua district, is being undertaken by seven VFCs.

Commissioner Secretary interacted with the Chairman and members of one VFC of FDA Kathua and three VFCs of FDA Basohli. The beneficiaries of these VFCs were given the solar lights under the component “promotion of clean energy” under the Green India Mission.

On the occasion, Sarpanchs of Koli Kooper and Jasrota panchayats also projected their demands for construction of water harvesting structures in upper areas of Koli Kooper and provisioning of timber availability in Jasrota area respectively.

Meanwhile, the department of Social Forestry conducted a plantation drive under “Aazadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav ” at Government Middle School, Dhalli involving the students, PRIs, VPPCs and local public followed by an interactive session.

Commissioner Secretary and Director Social Forestry along with the senior officers interacted with the members of VPPCs Sumb, Sallan, Dhalli, Dinga Amb, Chandwan and Pathwal.

Chairman Municipal Committee Hiranagar, Advocate Vijay Sharma and DDC Councilor, Dinga Amb besides Sarpanchs and Panchs were present during the interaction.

Sarpanch, Dhalli, demanded repair and improvement of Dhalli Talab and development of a Biodiversity Park at Dhalli.

Commissioner Secretary stressed upon the urgent need to work towards water conservation at grass root level by way of rejuvenation of old ponds and taking up new works in kandi belt.

Later, Commissioner Secretary distributed saplings among the local public.

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