Social Forestry vital to proactively increase green cover-Sadhu Singh Dharamsot
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
Underlining the crucial potential of Social Forestry to further enhance and sustain green cover across state, Forest Minister, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot on Thursday directed the department to undertake it on a mission mode especially during the ensuing monsoon season.
Reviewing the progress of department works and the plan of action for raising of plantation further in Punjab, Minister said the social, economical and ecological concerns will have to be balanced and in consonance with each other to preserve our overall environment from degradation.
Pointing out that Punjab being predominantly an agricultural State with around 6.83% of its geographical area under tree cover, the Minister said that there is lesser scope for raising plantation on the Government Forest lands and therefore, the plausible option for increasing the tree cover is promotion of social forestry in the State in order to improve the environmental health.
It was in this context the Punjab Govt. under the leadership of Chief Minister, Punjab had initiated drive in 2019 to plant 550 trees in all the villages of Punjab to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the Minister added.
Under this program, 550 plants were planted in more than 12600 village of the State with the active involvement of the Forest Department.
Financial Commissioner (Forests) D.K. Tiwari informed that apart from these, sacred forests, under the name of Nanak Bagichi have been setup at different locations in Punjab in which the local people have developed Nanak Bagichis with the assistance and under the guidance of the Forest Department. So far 175 Nanak Bagichis have been setup in Punjab, these forests will be contributing to the biodiversity conservation of the State.
This year also 101 Nanak Baghichis will be created. This will act not only as biodiversity repository but will also act as Oxy Parks.
Tiwari further informed that this year under the social forestry 128 Pavittar Vans are being developed in Punjab to Commemorate 400th birth anniversary of Sh. Guru Teg Bahadur Ji under the Green Punjab mission. These forests shall be developed on the Panchayat and Forest lands where trees of local species and religious importance shall be preferred. Apart from this, the State Govt. shall also develop 12 nature awareness parks during this year.
The state Govt. has further decided to utilize vacant Govt. lands of different departments under sub mission Green Punjab of Mission Tandrust Punjab which has been launched by Chief Minister Punjab on the World Environment Day this year.
Social Forestry vital to proactively increase green cover-Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. More than 1 crore plants shall be planted this year by the Forest Department and the other Line Departments besides free supply of 10 lac plants to the people of the State.
Tiwari informed that the efforts of the department shall go a long way in improving the environment of the State and making Punjab an environmentally healthy State which will also help in achieving the objective of the Mission Tandrust Punjab.