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JAMMU: The Forest Tree Awareness Week celebration today entered 4th day with scholars and Professors of Botany highlighting various aspects of Tree heritage. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Suresh Chugh, applauded State Forest Research Institute (SFRI) for its initiative towards spreading deeper and meaningful awareness about various aspects of forest trees which have mastered not only solar energy trapping mechanism of Photosynthesis but also engineered underground nutritional relationships of fungal network.

Dr. S. Natesh, Botanist, Biotechnologist and recipient of Biospectrum Lifetime Achievement Award 2012, delivered informative lecture on two trees that changed history of India & World, ShamiKhejri Prosopis cineraria tree, State tree of Rajasthan and Telangana and Bread tree Artocarpusaltilis found in Pacific island of Tahiti. Professor Yash Pal Sharma, Department of Botany from University of Jammu dwelt at length on health of forest trees.

Director, Department of Social Forestry, J&K, Suresh K. Gupta highlighted tree propagation nursery techniques of Shivalik trees and discussed traditional as well as modern usages to boost innovations in nutritional and medicinal sector. Dr Lalit Gupta, Art Historian, emphasized the need for dissemination of traditional knowledge using modern scientific tools and applications while K K Sharma, former Director Floriculture talked about introduction of trees and shrubs in the cultural and historical context quoting examples of Jiypota, Bargad, Sita Ashok, Maulsari and Peepal.

Scientists and scholars from Division of Entomology SKUAST Jammu namely Ramandeep Kaur, Shalini Aryan shared inputs on trees which act as hosts for commercially reared insects like Lac insect, Silkworm, Muga silk, Tassar silk worm and reflected age old uses of insect dyes, colours, fabrics and medicines as recorded in old texts and modern research journals.

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SAMBA: District Administration Samba under the overall supervision of Deputy Commissioner Sushma Chauhan today carried out an anti-encroachment drive at village Birpur in Bari-Brahmana. An anti-encroachment team headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner Samba Dr. Arun Manhas today retrieved 40 Kanals of SIDCO and state Government land which was under illegal occupants.  

During the eviction drive, the team demolished the illegally constructed wall, 20-30 temporary and permanent structure including ramps, tin sheds, hoardings and other structures. Vijay Kumar Sub Divisional Magistrate Vijaypur, Saqib Saleem Tehsildar Bari-Brahmana, SDPO and SHO were also part of the anti-encroachment drive.

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SRINAGAR: Following fresh snowfall weather in valley showed considerable improvement as sunshine greeted the valley early Thursday morning. The Kashmir meteorological department officials said that the weather will improve in the coming days and conditions will likely remain dry till November 21. Earlier snowfall was reported from tourist resorts of Sonamarg, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Peer Ki Gali, and Drass, Gurez and other upper reaches areas of Jammu and Kashmir while light to moderate rains lashed plains. Due to snowfall Leh-Srinagar highway and the Mughal road had been shut.