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  • International Biodiversity Day
  • Says State has abundant natural resources

JAMMU: Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh, today said that protection of forests will ensure conservation of biodiversity and environment, adding that in this regard people’s participation is vital. This was stated by the Minister while addressing a huge gathering after inaugurating International Biodiversity Day at Government Degree College, Mahanpur in Basholi of district Kathua. In a message on International Biodiversity Day, the Minister emphasized the need of collective efforts to conserve and promote green wealth on earth for survival of mankind.

“Our state is blessed with abundant natural affluence and resources and it should be moral responsibility of all of us to contribute collectively for its preservation,” he asserted. He emphasized the need to make people aware about the importance of saving forests for larger interest of the society. Underlining need for expanding the ambit of activities of State Diversity Board, the Minister asked the members of the Board to work wholeheartedly so that the purposes for which it was constituted are accrued.

Singh directed the officers to immediately start the fencing work of the Forest land and plant saplings of fruit plants, mulberry, Sisso, Tun, Amla, Guava, Jamun etc to avoid and check encroachments. He directed the concerned forest officers to develop view points at the potential locations so that people can enjoy there. The Minister directed to ensure proper grafting on pyrus species. He said that the steps taken up by the Government to curb encroachment of forest land have proved very fruitful.

Later, the Minister laid foundation stones for upgradation of 3-kilometer Mahanpur link road, construction of 8-kilometer road from Mahanpur Morh to Athalta via Kaloa and Gujjar Basti Harta. He directed the Engineers to gear up their efforts in completing the started projects within stipulated time frame. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, A K Singh, Chairman State Pollution Control Board Ravi Kesar, Director Ecology and Remote Sensing O P Sharma, Director Forest Protection Force, Muhammad Asif, Director Soil Conservation, J A Punjoo, Director SFRI, B M Sharma, Director Social Forestry A K Gupta, Member Secretary Pollution Control Board, Sameer Bharti, Deputy Commissioner, Kathua Romesh Kumar besides other senior officers of Forests, Civil and Police administration accompanied the Minister.

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BANDIPORA: To maintain the ecological balance of the Wullar lake, the Minister of Public Works Naeem Akhtar today said that all the villages surrounding the lake would be made open defecation free. The Minister was speaking at a function organized to mark the completion of 508 toilets constructed by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

He called on the officials to adopt latest techniques in tune with local ecology for ensuring open defecation free State. On the occasion, the Minister was informed that CII had roped in consultants from Nepal for designing specific type of toilet complexes in alignment with the ecology of the Wullar Lake. It was said that the toilets built at a cost of Rs 23000 each have been developed on scientific lines, which will help in making the villages around the lake open defecation free. The Minister also appreciated the efforts of local sarpanchs for taking part in the open defecation free drive. The Minister said that Government’s priority is to make all villages in and around the Wullar lake as open defecation free.

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KATRA: Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board organised an awareness programme on Source Waste Management at Katra today as part of continuing initiatives being taken by the Board for capacity building of its staff. The topics which came under discussion during the workshop included segregation of waste at source, source waste processing by bulk waste generators, awareness on duties of waste generators in the light of Solid Waste Management rules and other related rules.

 

Area Heads, Sanitation Supervisors and other sanitation staff of the Board participated in the workshop. Ms. Anuradha, Scientist, In-charge MSW, J&K State Pollution Control Board, Jammu, in her expert and detailed presentation dwelt on the methods of waste minimisation, segregation, handling and storage and spoke about various aspects of the solid waste management. This was followed by live demonstrations and hands-on training regarding segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, making of compost pits and how to prepare organic manure from biodegradable waste as well as various other aspects of solid waste management.     

Earlier, Dr. Arvind Karwani, Dy. CEO of the Shrine Board, spoke about the aims and objectives of organising this training workshop. He added that the Board has been regularly organising training programmes for building the capacities of its staff in different spheres. He also referred to the various measures which are being taken by the Shrine Board for solid and waste water management in a scientific manner for ensuring sanitation and cleanliness all along the track and in the Shrine area.