Chinar Conservation Project Launched

SRINAGAR — The Chinar conservation project was launched at Kralsangari forest nursery on Thursday by Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar.

The project is being initiated by the Forest department to revive the “declining Chinar tree population in Kashmir valley.”

Kumar planted a Chinar sapling in the presence on Commissioner Secretary Forests M K Dwivedi, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Suresh Chugh and other senior officers.

On the occasion, Director State Forest Research Institute (SFRI) briefed the Advisor about the project and the activities to be taken up to revive Chinar tree plantation.

It was informed that the project would help in compensating loss of Chinars and popularize different varieties of the plant including Chinar Bonsai, Chinar Topiary, Chinar Literature under eco-tourism, “enriching diversity of trees under fall tourism.”

To further popularize Chinar planting and preserve cultural heritage of Chinar in Kashmir, it was noted that the SFRI “has undertaken ambitious chinar conservation project keeping in mind various initiatives mainly including establishment of Chinar resting points at eco-tourism destinations, encouraging Chinar tree plantation, celebrating Chinar Day on March 15 annually, organizing Grand Chinar festival during mid-November, chinar awareness focusing on world diversity of planes, art craft innovations and promoting eco-tourism.”

Under the project, plantation would be taken up on large scale in the state especially in the Kashmir division for which the quality plant material of Chinar would be provided by SFRI for restoration campaign.

Advisor Kumar along with the other senior officers of the department released the ‘Chinar Conservation Project Report’ on the occasion.

Officers of SFRI also briefed the Advisor about the functioning of Kralsangri Forest Nursery which is a quality plant production centre. Details of Nursery Stock position along with the plant species available in the nursery was also shared with the Advisor.

He was told that the nursery is the source of plant material for afforestation of degraded forest lands, greening of Srinagar city and in other parts of the valley. It also provided plant material for special afforestation/greening projects launched by J&K Forest Department at Zabarwan, Baltal and Tosamaidan.

Discussing the initiatives of Forest Department especially SFRI in increasing the green cover in the state, the Advisor appreciated the efforts of the dedicated team of officers and scientists of SFRI for raising the quality plant material for the Chinar restoration project.

Terming the project an important initiative of the forest department in conserving heritage Chinar Tree in the state, the Advisor said that raising Chinar tree material followed by large scale plantation in available selected sites will further glorify to the Kashmir landscape.

While discussing the stock position of Kralsangri nursery, he was also informed about the medicinal plants which are being developed by the SFRI.

Discussing the medicinal importance of these plants, the Advisor asked the department to conduct scientific study so that plants having high medicinal value can be developed at SFRI nurseries and further can be used for commercial purpose.

Scientific research in this regard would help the forest department in developing fast growing medicinal plants which can further boost its income by putting them for commercialize use, the Advisor said.

Additional PCCF Sarveshwar Rai, CCF Kashmir Farooq Ahmad Gilani, Conservator Forests Irfan Ali Shah, Director SFRI O P Sharma and other officers were also present on the occasion.

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