STATE TIMES NEWSRAMBAN: Social Forestry Department is organising Van Mahotsava to launch the plantation programme across various districts during the ongoing rainy season.On the occasion, District Development Council Chairperson, Ramban Dr. Shamshad Shan has extended hearty greetings to people of the district Ramban as well as Jammu and Kashmir.“We all know that plants play an important role in environmental protection, healthy living and our economic prosperity. Jammu and Kashmir is blessed with rich forests which play a vital role in agriculture, water resources, wood based industries, tourism promotion and environmental preservation for healthy living and it needs to be conserved for future generations” she added.Under Social Forestry programme vast plantations have been raised across the J&K since 1981-82 and people have been benefitted by availability of supply of fodder, fuel wood, timber and other forest produce. It has contributed in the overall economic well being of people and also in preservation of the environment and ecology of the region.In district Ramban also, people have derived benefits like grass, leaf fodder, fuel wood and small timber from plantations raised on village panchayat/ State lands and degraded forest areas. Many farmers have taken benefits by planting trees on their proprietary lands.To further strengthen the forestation activities under devolution of function and responsibilities to PRIs, the Social Forestry Department shall take up plantations in close association with Village Panchayat Plantation Committees (VPPCs)to ensure support and cooperation of people. 75% of revenue earned by selling mature plantations raised as Village Wood Lots would be shared with the VPPCs who can use this amount for various developmental activities and raising new plantations within their Panchayats.By auctioning such mature plantations in 42 Panchayats during 2020-21, Rs. 1.97 crore has been transferred by the Social Forestry Department to the accounts of VPPCs. It will help in making these Panchayats financially independent.In her message Dr. Shan appealed to the people, members of PRIs, students, NGOs and other stakeholders to come forward and participate in plantation drives.She said that the Social Forestry Department also supplies saplings from their nurseries. She urged people to avail this facility and participate in voluntary plantation drives as well. Let’s take a pledge that every adult member of each family shall plant & protect a minimum of one plant during the current monsoon planting season, she added.
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