The Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Choudhary Lal Singh today inaugurated Yoga Camp here at MAM stadium organised in connection with International Yoga Day. Hundreds of people from across the city participated in the yoga class. In his inaugural address, the Minister highlighted the importance of Yoga in day-to-day life, observing that it contributes to balanced mental and physical health. He said that the importance of Yoga has been noted world-wide and at its December 2014 Session, United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Yoga Day on the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Further highlighting its importance, Choudhary Lal Singh asked the Sports Department to promote the practice of Yoga amongst the sportspersons and general public. Calling upon the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to develop Yoga skills, he said they can create a niche for them at national and international level in this field. Later, the Minister also chaired a meeting of Forest Officers of Jammu, Reasi, Udhampur, Kathua districts and reviewed the progress of chain link fencing of Sanasar, Nuglta, Mandar Dusala, Batote Ramnagar, Mahanpur, Sarthal, Bani and Basohli forest closures areas and plantation of saplings in degraded areas of the forests in these areas. Chief Conservator of Forests Roshan Jaggi, Chief Conservator of Forest Ecotourism and Wildlife A K Singh, Conservator East Circle Brij Mohan Sharma besides divisional Forest Officers of Reasi, Udhampur and Kathua districts were present in the meeting. Choudhary Lal Singh directed for achieving 100 percent targets under plantation drive in coming monsoon especially on degraded and vacant forest land. He stressed that work in this regard should be visible on ground and directed for third party monitoring and inspection. He asked the officers to install sprinkle irrigation system and develop ponds and boulies in the nurseries and forest closures. To avoid soil erosion on Forest Land due to flash floods in rainy season, the Minister directed for construction of crate bunds at the vulnerable sites. The Minister also directed to float tenders for purchase of poles for chain link fencing including wires for their respective districts to prevent encroachment on the forest land. Taking serious note of recent fire in forests of Trikuta hills of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Jee, Choudhary Lal Singh said that Government was taking the forest fires very seriously and remedial measures have been taken to save the green gold and public assets in adjoining areas.
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