Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Choudhary Lal Singh dedicated a timber sale depot to the people of Mahanpur village of Basohli tehsil. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests A K Singh, Chief Conservator of Forests Roshan Jaggi, Managing Director State Forest Corporation Arun Tikoo, Director Social Forestry Suresh Chugh, Director Soil and Water Conservation Ravi Kessar besides Divisional Forest Officers of Social Forestry, Soil Conservation, Forests Protection Force, Terrotorial and Wild Life Protection Force were also present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister informed the people that similar timber sale depots will also be opened in various other areas for facilitating supply of timber. He asked the officers of Territorial and State Forest Corporation to speed up process of timber dumping in sale depots for the convenience of the consumers. The Minister stressed on judicious use of CAMPA funds and completion of the projects within stipulated time frame, adding the assets so created must be perceptible on ground. Earlier, Choudhary Lal also inspected various community afforestation sites in Mahanpur and its adjoining areas and took stock of the status of plantation carried out by the Forest and its allied departments. The Minister visited Social Forestry Compartments at Bhanote in Basohli where the department with the help of local people have taken up community plantation on vast tracks of waste land. It was informed by Director Social Forestry that various species of trees including Shesham, Bamboo, Lucenea and Khair have been planted in the area to meet the requirement of timber, fodder and firewood. The Minister was apprised that department has also taken up community and strip plantations at various places across Basohli tehsil in Kathua. The department has also fixed a target of covering 50 hectare land by planting 35000 trees under Village Wood Lot scheme in Jammu and its peripheries during 2015-16. The Minister said that people should be made aware about the uses of various species grown in these community sites so that they can get their benefit. He also sought public cooperation for upkeep of these compartments. Later, the Minister also inspected the natural water reservoirs of village Bhanore, Damra and Palail and appealed the villagers to preserve these water resources. He said that the Lagoons of the nearby areas will soon be developed for giving impetus to eco tourism activities in Basohli, Billawar and Bani.
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