Dear Editor,We have been taught that trees produce oxygen, which is life-line of all living beings. But we forget that tress are source of our life-line. No trees no life.Trees help to clean the air, soil and water, make the earth a beautiful place. Trees make us healthier and happier. It’s time to save Trees, protect forests and spread awareness. Every town and city has laws dictating which tree species need to be protected but laws are never implemented and this casual approach results in deforestation.Recently, there is a news that Raika Forests in Jammu will be cut and Court complex will be shifted there. 38,006 trees will be cut for no reason. Are we going to plant such huge number of trees at some other place to maintain the balance of environment? It is high time that we all should speak up to save the trees, rather than just letting the forest get cut down.Raika Forest situated in Bahu Conservative Reserve has many endangered native wildlife like endangered Green peafowl, a schedule 1 fauna in 1972 of wildlife Act and in appendix 1 of the Convention of international trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna. Leopard, again an endangered Schedule 1 fauna animal, also make its habitat in this very reserve. Porcupine, Wild boars, rabbits, Snakes, Bears, Chakor are also some of the endangered animals present in this forest reserve. This area comes in the eco-sensitive zone.Apart from having rich flora and fauna, this forest also works as a mini weather manager for Jammu City. Chopping it down will reduce rainfall of this region and the already decreased ground water level will further reduce. Jammu comes under the seismic zone of lV and V. This step of chopping 39,000 trees can invite massive calamities.Already in 2014 Jammu and Kashmir suffered an unprecedental flood which shook the entire J&K and till date the local people have not come out of its horrific memories.Through your esteemed daily, I would request the LG that we don’t want our UT to be like Delhi. We want our left biodiversity to be preserved. This forest is our heritage and chopping it down will hurt our sentiments.Moreover, the older a forests the more carbon sequestering capacity it has. With day by day increasing pollution and population we need our old forests today more than ever. We request LG to save this forest from cutting.Sham Lal Sharma,Sidhra.
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