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  • Forest Deptt hosts workshop on conservation of taxa species

JAMMU: Commissioner Secretary Forest, Ecology and Environment, M K Dwivedi, today asked the Forest Department to cultivate Rare, Endangered Threatened (RET) plant species in its nurseries for their conservation. He was speaking at brainstorming workshop on rare, endemic, threatened (RET) taxa plant organized by Forest Department here at Forest Information Centre, Jammu.

“Forest management and need for Biodiversity conservation calls for inclusion of rare, endemic & threatened plants in forest nurseries so that such plants are included in reforestation, afforestation works on priority” he said. He observed that habitat modification, fragmentation, soil degradation, proliferation of invasive alien species, forest fires, over exploitation and climate change have led to drastic decline in the last few decades and calls for conservation strategies both inside habitats i.e. in-situ as well as outside habitats ex-situ.

He asked the organizers to organize more such workshop cum seminars as they promote sustainable use of medicinal plants which would improve the quality of the produce. “It is a learning process as we should work collectively to synergize our energy in preserving both humanity and ecology which compliment and also supplement for the betterment of State” he added.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Suresh Chugh, appreciated the initiative of SFRI in display of eco-friendly alternatives to polybags, exhibits of Biodiversity products, plant more of Rare threatened taxa and getting valuable suggestions and inputs from researchers, experts, conservationists on conservation of target taxa.  The experts present in the workshop from different universities planted three selected RET saplings of rare & threatened tree taxa namely Rudraksh (Eleaocarpus angustifolius), Tumri ( Pittosporum eriocarpum) and Chain Champa  (Magnolia kisopa).

The State Forest Research Institute (SFRI) publication on Forest Tree Awareness Week focusing on old heritage and lesser known trees was released at the workshop by the chief guests. Exhibition of RET plant saplings by Botanical Survey of India, Biodiversity products by State Biodiversity Board, Forest NTFP by Territorial Forest and seed display by SFRI added value to workshop and provided education to participants. The certificates of participation were distributed among the participants also.

Meanwhile, Director, SFRI presented data on survey of state threatened plants like Ratanjot (Arnebia), Tookansool (Atropa), Barmi rukh (Taxis), Samma (Engelhardia), Tumri (Pittosporum), Medda sak (Litsea), Neelan (Olea), Patees (Aconitum), Seski (Artemsia), Chiuntar (Bischofia), Pajja (Prunus), Chilgoza (Pinus), Kaud (Picrorhiza), Trayaman (Gentiana), Burza (Betula), Pangoi (Acer), Dehri (Toona), Kakkadsingi (Pistacia) etc. and disclosed these taxa will be taken for mass propagation in the SFRI nurseries under ex-situ conservation programme.

Dr Anzar Khuroo, focused on threatened flora of Kashmir, Dr. C.M. Seth also sought conservation of RET species. Among others, Ravi K Kesar, Chairman, State Pollution Control Board, (SPCB),  Siddharth Kumar, Director, Ecology, Environment & Remote Sensing,  P K Singh, Director,  Soil & Water conservation, Suresh Gupta, IFS, Director Social Forestry, Sarvesh Rai,  IFS,  APCCF, Sh. N P Singh,  APCCF, Sameer Bharti, CCF Jammu,  Tahir Shawl,  Regional Wildlife Warden, Jammu and other senior field functionaries of forest department attended the workshop.

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SRINAGAR: After receiving its first snowfall of the year, people got respite from cold wave revalued by subzero temperatures from past two weeks. Mughal road closed for vehicular traffic. On Wednesday Kashmir received its first snowfall with mountains including famous hill stations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg and Pir Panchal receiving heavy snowfall while plains receiving light snow fall.

Except for summer capital Srinagar, widespread snowfall received in other districts particularly higher reaches. The snowfall resulted in the closure of Srinagar Jammu highway and later restored. Meanwhile, Jammu Mughal road has been closed for vehicular traffic between Chandimarh in Poonch district of Jammu region and Heerpora village in Shopian district of Kashmir region from January 01, 2019.

The decision has been taken due to the sharp dip in temperatures and frost action, which has set in slippery conditions on the road surface, official spokesman said VMS. Minimum temperature was 5.2 degrees Celsius in Srinagar while it was 4.9 degrees in Pahalgam and 2.6 degrees in Gulmarg. Leh recorded minus 12.4 degree Celsius and Kargil minus 17 degree as the minimum temperatures. Bandipora-Gurez road was closed for traffic on Wednesday after heavy snowfall in the area. Minimum temperature was 5.2 degrees in Srinagar. Earlier MeT officials told Valley Media Service that state will witness fresh snowfall from 4 Jan due to the new emerging system.

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JAMMU: According to Chief Engineer Mughal Road Project, Jammu Mughal road has been closed for vehicular traffic between Chandimarh in Poonch district of Jammu region and Heerpora village in Shopian district of Kashmir region from January 01, 2019. The decision has been taken due to the sharp dip in temperatures and frost action, which has set in slippery conditions on the road surface.