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CoF SFC reviews functioning of Forest Department Pulwama

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PULWAMA: The Conservator of Forests (CoF), South Forest Circle (SFC) Kashmir, Irfan Ali Shah, today reviewed the functioning of the Forest Department in District Pulwama.

Speaking on the occasion, the CoF laid stress on making progress on all approved deliverables for the Forest Department for the current year. He also stressed on development of water bodies under Mission Amrit Sarovar inside forests and directed for maintaining these water bodies for the benefit of people, wildlife, and forests.

Shah emphasized institutionalizing and adapting “Van se Jal aur Jal se Jeevan” concepts.

Range officers were directed to identify new sites for the creation of water bodies inside forest areas especially in fire-prone forests and in forests with good Ecotourism potential.

The deliverable under the theme “Qabza Mukt Janglaat” was also discussed. CoF directed for taking immediate necessary steps for retrieval of all encroached Forest land in District Pulwama including in Anderwalli, Keller, Romshi, Sangerwani forests in a time-bound manner and booking of encroachers under the provisions of the Indian Forest Act.

He also directed for consolidation of forest land boundaries by installing Boundary pillars in each forest of District Pulwama. Range officers were directed to submit Boundary pillar installation plans immediately.

The CoF directed for identification and development of new trekking routes as a part of the “Youth Connect” program in Pulwama for nature lovers, college and school students, and hikers including Namblan, Keller, Sangerwani, Musamarg Forests.

He also directed for identification of suitable sites for the construction of new Forest Rest houses and Forest Interpretation Centres for local people as well as tourists and stressed facilitating online bookings through awareness programs for the promotion of sustainable Eco-tourism in Pulwama.

The CoF called for the organizing of the Eco-Tourism festival in collaboration with District Administration Pulwama for promoting sustainable Eco-Tourism activities. He directed for initiation of medical cum pilgrim-based EcoTourism activities connecting hot spring baths with Sufi Dargahs.

CoF also directed for accelerating steps being taken in Pulwama for Polythene and Plastic free forests, so that “Clean and Green Pulwama” becomes a reality. He directed the development of Eco-parks and Nagar Vans near Awantipora and Pulwama towns for boosting local Ecotourism activities.

He directed for Registration of local youth as Van Mitras or Friends of Forest and said, “Young boys and Girls of Pulwama have excelled in every sphere of life. We want them to grow as Environment Conscious and healthy citizens of the country.”

 Shah also reviewed Forest Protection in District Pulwama and stressed on protection of forests and dealing with habitual forest damages/timber smugglers with an iron hand. The Officers were directed to maintain proper coordination to deal with the protection scenario especially in the remote areas of Sangerwani, Keller so as to ensure zero tolerance towards illicit forest damages.

He directed the destruction of all wild and cultivated Bhang in and around forest areas and forest assets, especially in the Kakapora area of Pulwama. He also directed accelerating efforts under “Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan”, so that drug-free Pulwama is ensured and youth are kept away from the menace of drug abuse.

Shah also directed for organizing an Outreach programme on creating forest-based livelihoods, especially for womenfolk in Pulwama, in consultation with the District Administration Pulwama as well as experts and officers from National Rural Livelihoods Mission.

He said alternate fuel energy and livelihood support kits shall be provided to forest fringe communities especially Tribal communities in Pulwama under this mission. He also directed for initiating Forest based livelihood support programmes to address poverty-related issues of Tribal and local communities.

CoF also reviewed the firewood supply position in District Pulwama.

He also directed for submission of proposals for the greening of all barren forest slopes through different Agrostological and Bamboo based interventions, especially for Southern slopes which will also help generate local employment as well and will lead to the creation of new oxygen banks and Green spaces in the Pulwama.

The meeting was attended by Mohammad Ayoub Sheikh, DFO Shopian; Yasir Amin, Range Forest officer; Ghulam Nabi, Range officer Romshi Pulwama; Fayaz Ahmad, Range officer Shopian and other senior Officers of the department.

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