Plantation on degraded forest land to be taken up on large scale : CM

Shimla (QNN)

Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu while presiding over the first meeting of the governing body of Himachal Pradesh State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (HP CAMPA), at HIPA late evening on Monday said that new initiatives for restoration of degraded forest landscapes in the state will be started under HP CAMPA in the year 2023-24.

“Instead of raising plantations in sporadic manner, it should be done in a planned manner on the barren hills and other large open patches in a phased manner in the entire state,” said the Chief Minister. Plantation should be done keeping in mind the suitable climatic conditions and dedicated staff would be deployed as protectors to take care of the plantations in a responsible and accountable manner, he added. Reiterating that the state government was working towards ‘Vyavastha Parivartan’, he said that the campaign would be more focused and barren forest land would be covered to achieve the goal of the ‘Green State’.

The Forest Department has identified such areas in all 12 districts of the state covering more than 256 hectare of barren forest land along with 5 year maintenance period with a proposed outlay of around Rs. 8.83 crore.  Local representatives of the area should also be involved in this campaign, said Sh. Sukhu, adding that land banks would be identified in degraded areas and utilized for proposing (Compensatory Afforestation)  CA schemes under FCA diversion Projects. He also directed the authority for proper monitoring and SDM concerned should be involved in it.

One Model Nursery would be developed in each Forest Division of the state in the year 2023-24, he said, adding that these 45 nurseries would have facilities like vermi compost units, poly houses, green houses, sprinklers, root trainers and tissue culture labs etc.

This would aid in strengthening nurseries infrastructure, which can serve as a focal point for multiplication of planting material as well as capacity building and training of staff engaged in nurseries maintenance and sharing of good practices among foresters across the country. These model nurseries would also act as extension centres for public engagement for creating awareness on flora and fauna of the state.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sunder Singh Thakur also gave his valuable suggestions.

Onkar Chand Sharma, Principal Secretary Forest cum Member Secretary of the governing body, conducted the proceedings of the meeting and Vinod Kumar Tiwari, PCCF (HoFF), presented the vote of thanks.

Prabodh Saxena, Chief Secretary, Bharat Khera, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Rajiv Kumar, PCCF (Wild Life), Nagesh Guleria, APCCF cum CEO CAMPA, Preeti Bhandari, Deputy CEO CAMPA and other senior officers also attended the meeting.