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JAMMU: Social Forestry department today celebrated Van Mahotsava by organising series of plantation drives in different parts of the Jammu province. Social Forestry division Jammu organised a function at its office Complex, Talab Tillo, where   Regional Director P.K. Ragav was the chief guest. The celebration started with planting of trees by the Chief Guest and other officers of the department.

Speaking on the occasion, the Regional Director, Social Forestry stressed upon the need for carrying out massive plantation for cleaner environment. He said that each and every individual by way of planting a tree every year can play a role of responsible citizen. Meanwhile, in a coordinated effort, the District Administration Reasi alongwith the Indian Army (Uniform force), Salal Power Project, NHPC, CRPF (126th Bn) and civil society, initiated the plantation of more than 40,000 trees in different parts of District Reasi to mark the celebration of Van Mahotsava.

In the closely supervised event by the Divisional Forest Officers of Mahore and Reasi Divisions, scores of school and college students   participated besides army, police and civil officials and locals participated in the drive.  The event also witnessed the participation of DDC Parsanna Ramaswamy G, Major General Arvind Bhatia, SSP Tahir Sajad Bhat, GM NHPC Himanshu Shekhar, Commandant, CRPF   Pardeep Singh DFO, Anwar Aftab Shah, DFO Mahore Parvez Malik and others.

Endemic species of broad-leaved trees like Shisham, Jamun etc, suitable to the local soil conditions, were chosen to ensure survival of the saplings. Furthermore, the timing was decided upon to make full use of the ongoing monsoon showers. The importance of afforestation especially of planting endemic species was stressed upon. The experts highlighted the role played by trees in preventing landslides, recharging the ground water level and preventing soil erosion. The saplings for the plantation drive were provided by the State Forest Research Institute, Jammu.

Similarly, Social Forestry Division, Ramban, is organising a series of plantation drive programmes to mark Van Mahotasava 2018. In this chain of events, a plantation drive cum awareness camp was organised in Gool in collaboration with local 58 RR Army Camp. The Commanding Officer of 58 RR was the chief guest at the event. He launched the drive by plantation of different species. The Commanding Officer thanked the officers and officials of Social Forestry Block, Gool besides locals for active participation in  the event.

He said that the Aim of "Van Mahotsava 2018" is to realize and promote awareness among common masses and spread the message of planting & preserving more and more trees. It ensures community participation. "Each one, Plant One" pledge was undertaken to set in mass movement of afforestation. Likewise, J&K Forest Department, in collaboration with Government MAM College celebrated Van Mahotsava by planting saplings in the college campus.  

Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu Sameer Bharti, the Chief Guest exhorted upon College Students and NCC Cadets to come forward and plant a tree in this ongoing monsoon season.   Former Inspector General of Police, S.S. Bijral and patron of the NGO 'Mother the Nature' also participated in the plantation drive. The DFO Urban Forestry Division, Anup Kumar Soni, the main organizer of the programme thanked all the participants. He informed that the J&K Forest Department will continue to carry such plantation drives all over the Jammu and appealed general public & NGOs to come forward and join this noble cause.