Jammu: Commissioner Secretary, Forests, Ecology and Environment, Sanjeev Verma today chaired an inter-departmental meeting to review afforestation drives under Green India Mission, at the Civil Secretariat here.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr Mohit Gera; Director Social Forestry, Dr Neelu Gera; Director Higher Education, Dr MY Peerzada; ADC Jammu, Satish Kumar Sharma; Joint Director Education Jammu, Shokat Mahmood, senior officers from NHIDCL, NHAI, Public Works Department also participated in the meeting while as officials from Kashmir division participated in meeting through video conferencing.
The Commissioner Secretary informed the meeting that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has called for planned and massive afforestation drives across Jammu & Kashmir.
Sanjeev Verma said that a goal of planting 5 lakh trees in both the Smart Cities has been set for this financial year. He added that the trees are to be planted in open spaces along highways, educational institutions, along river banks, wastelands and other available parcels of land lying with various departments.
He remarked that an attempt would be made to create ‘city forests’ in both Smart Cities which will help in curbing noise and air pollution.
The Commissioner Secretary asked the officers to provide necessary expertise and handholding to all stakeholders like School Education Department, National Highways Authority of India, National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation, Jammu and Srinagar Municipal Corporations and others during these afforestation drives.
Calling the Panchayats, Urban Local Bodies and educational institutes as main arm for these plantation drives, Sanjeev Verma said that the goal of planting over 1 crore trees in entire Union Territory would not be achieved without their contribution. He added that around 1 crore trees have already been planted in the past financial year here.
The Commissioner Secretary further said that staff from Social Forestry Department would be formally transferred to Muncipal Corporations for expert assistance. He directed the representatives of Muncipal Corporations to identify the areas for tree plantation within municipal limits and their peri-urban areas shortly and submit report regarding the same in due time.