JAMMU, 13 MARCH: The Secretary-Commissioner of the Department of Forestry, Sanjeev Verma, paid a comprehensive visit to the interior areas of Jammu and Reasi districts to review the implementation of various development programs in addition to interacting with local representatives of MICs and people residing near forest areas.
Verma undertook the tour through the traditional route of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine passing through different villages including Nagrota, Marh, Shibba, Bamyal and Dera Baba Bandha Bahadur.
The commissioner-secretary inspected various traditional water-harvesting wells and important archaeological sites along the way. He expressed concern about the dilapidated state of several facilities and called for renovations to be undertaken for the public good.
He was accompanied by the Director/Department of Social Forestry of PCCF, Director of Soil and Water Conservation, CCF Jammu, DFOs and other senior forestry officers in addition to representatives of INTACH.
Verma highlighted the importance of rainwater harvesting for these kandi areas, which will help increase grass and fodder production for the locals in addition to improving habitat for the region’s birdlife. .
He instructed the officers to integrate forestry works with the rural development department under the convergence plan of MNREGA to generate maximum number of man-days for the local people.
Later, the Commissioner’s Secretary distributed solar lamps to 20 beneficiaries as part of the Green India mission to promote renewable and clean source of energy in a ceremony held in Marh.
On the occasion, the secretary to the commissioner initiated a planting campaign with the planting of a sapling of the Molsari tree in the presence of the members of the PRI and the Joint Forestry Member Committees of Green India Mission Marh.
Verma urged locals, including Green India Mission grantees, to protect the forests, especially during the upcoming wildfire season, by giving wholehearted support to the department’s field officials.
Meanwhile, another public awareness program was held at Dera Baba Banda Bahadur in Reasi under JK Green Drive and Har Gaon Haryali. During the event,
Verma interacted with the Village Panchayat Plantation Committees (VPPCs) of Kanjali, Babbar Brahmana and Dera Baba villages and shared their issues and concerns.
DDC members, PRI members, Additional Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner (D) Reasi were present on the occasion.
On this occasion, a planting campaign was also carried out during which about 200 saplings were distributed to the general public by the Department of Social Forestry. Sanjeev Verma, while speaking on the occasion, said that the department organizes such programs through J&K to ensure the participation of VPPCs for successful implementation of JK Green Drive.
Later, Sanjeev Verma inspected the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) of Katra Municipal Committee.