Forest Department and Eco-Task Force, 129 TA conducted a plantation drive at Compartment 50/D, Badla Brahmana, Samba with the involvement of Panchayati Raj Institution representatives.

PCCF, J&K, Dr. Mohit Gera, led the drive along with the officers and Jawans of 129 Inf. Bn (TA) Eco JAK LI including Commanding Officer Col. Joy Dasgupta and senior officers and field staff of Forest Department.

BDC Chairman, Nud Block, Sarpanch Sarna and the panchayat members whole heartedly participated in the plantation drive along with the local villagers.

The 129 TA and ETF Project Division with the support of Forest Department has been carrying out afforestation in the important river catchments and degraded forest areas for the last thirty years.

The plantation drive was carried out in the degraded and denuded forest area of Compartment 50/D of Samba Range falling under the catchment of the Basantar River.

Around 2200 saplings of local species like Simbal, Kikar, Sissoo, Arjun and fruit species like guava were planted along with the broadcasting of 7000 seed balls of different local species to supplement the efforts of greening the area.

During the current year, the ETF Project division, along with 129 TA, shall carry out plantation and allied activities aimed at increasing green cover and prevention of soil erosion on 150 Ha area with target of about 1.30 lakh plants. The involvement of people and innovative greening interventions will be the important component of the scheme.

The PCCF also interacted with office bearers of BDC, Panchayats and local villagers. He informed them about the steps being taken by the Forest Department towards improving the green cover, mitigation of man-animal conflict and low-cost innovation in greening with involvement of PRIs.

The need for involvement of people in an innovative way for greening like patch sowing, use of seed balls and naked root planting was also discussed. He also stressed on assigning roles and responsibility to different stakeholders, viz Panchayats, Nomadic communities, JFMCs, BMCs and forest staff.

The PCCF appreciated the efforts of the Eco Task Force Division and 129 TA in carrying out the afforestation in degraded forest areas thereby adding to the tree cover. He also appreciated the participation of the PRIs and locals in plantation drive.