JAMMU: Minister for Forests, Ecology & Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh has stressed on taking requisite measures to streamline the functioning of Forest department and Pollution Control Board (PCB) adding that laboratory infrastructure needs to be strengthen for achieving tangible results in a time bound manner.
The Minister said this during a meeting convened to review the functioning of these departments at Forest Information Centre, here today.
Principal Secretary Forests Rakesh Kumar Gupta, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests A K Singh, Chief Conservator of Forests Roshan Jaggi, Joint Director Forests Protection Force Kh. Qamar-ud-Din, Deputy Directors of Forest Protections Force, Divisional Forest Officers of Jammu division and Urban Forest Division Officers were present in the meeting.
While reviewing the overall functioning of the Forest and SPCB at a meeting of officers, the Minister said that the Forest department and Pollution Control Board (PCB) are directly connected with the health of the people; therefore, the functionaries of the organization must put in their best efforts to achieve the objective. He stressed the need for evolving innovative mechanism to implement the Central and State Sponsored Schemes by the Forest and its allied departments to maintain a healthy environment in Jammu and Kashmir. He called upon the functionaries of the Organization to ensure complete transparency, accountability and efficiency at all levels and improve the delivery system on ground.
Stressing the need for close coordination between various agencies to achieve the common goal, Choudhary Lal Singh said that collective efforts between the departments like industry, local bodies, and transport can ensure better results. He said these agencies must work in synergy and review the progress of various common issues periodically to address these expeditiously.
The Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir State is richly endowed with diversed forests having varied landscape from sub-tropical, sub-temperate, temperate and cold deserts dotted with various types of meadows, lakes and water bodies. He said these forests has played important role in preserving the fragile eco-system /biodiversity and natural habitant of the region and also serve as catchment for important Himalayan Rivers. He said Forests are essential for soil conservation, water security and for meeting the needs of local population in terms of timber, firewood, fodder and other forest produce. He asked to make every effort to conserve and manage the forests prudently so that the needs of the human population are fulfilled on sustainable basis keeping in view future generations as well.
The Minister directed the officers to revive and strengthen the defuct nurseries by developing ornamental species. He directed to remove bushes, proper landscaping, irrigation of parks and forests. He asked for constructing small ponds in forests and nurseries for irrigation purpose. He also directed for proper patrolling on check posts to avoid theft of timber.
Choudhary Lal Singh asked to provide kits to the gardeners and also to maintain dress code of the rangers, guards, orderlies and frash for their identification during office hours and also in the forests and nurseries.
While reviewing the status of issuing NOCs to the aspiring industrialists in the State, the Minister directed the concerned to immediately shift to on-line system to ensure transparency and avoid delays in granting these certificates. He also directed for regular inspections of industrial units to ensure proper implementation of pollution norms. The issues related to the day-to-day functioning of the SPCB, including finalization of rules, constitution of DPCs, and regularization of adhoc employees also came under discussion. He asked Principal Secretary Forest to address these issues expeditiously.
The Chairman SPCB apprised the Minister about the functioning of the Organization and measures initiated to further improve the same.
Later, the Minister took round of the labs and various units of the SPCB and interacted with the employees.
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