Vaishno Devi Shrine Board planted over 13L plants in decade: Official

Jammu:  As a part of Annual Greening Plan, the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has planted more than 13 lakh plants in a decade in the Trikuta Hills of Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir.
“During the past 10 years, 13.46 lakh plants have been planted by the Board as part of Greening of Trikuta Hills,” Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, informed to Commissioner Secretary Forest, Sanjeev Verma who visited Katra on Tuesday and reviewed management of forest area.
Garg further informed that hi-tech Nursery established by the Shrine Board at Kunia, Panthal produces 2 lakh quality plants of varied species to meet the requirement of Annual Greening Plan.
The CEO also informed that as per the previous meeting held with Principal Chief Conservator of Forest under fire management plan 81 temporary fire watchers will be deployed on vulnerable areas and 55 kms of temporary fire line will be maintained.
In addition, a pine needle briquettes machine will be procured shortly for the collection of pine needles for its appropriate disposal.
He said that the Shrine Board has been devoting high attention to conserving the environment and ecology and carrying out the greening of Trikuta Hills and the spaces along the tracks leading to the Shrine.
“In addition, a large-scale afforestation being undertaken by the Shrine Board under its Greening Action Plan, the Board’s forest wing is also enforcing varied measures to effectively prevent forest fires, as per scientifically approved practices which include creation of fire lines, removal of lantana weed from the affected areas and ensuring strict vigil on the ground during the potential fire season by deploying a sufficient number of fire watchers in the sensitive sectors,” said the CEO.
Besides, a multi pronged approach has been adopted by Forest Wing of Shrine Board for proper water management and promotion of water conservation through various activities and campaigns which includes construction of water harvesting ponds, DRSM (Dry Rubble Stone Masonry) and construction of vegetative check dam on Trikuta Hills slopes which is helping in recharging ground water and also serving as a feeding point for wildlife, he said and added, “every year, the Shrine Forest wing has a target of more than 1.25 lakh quality seedlings to be planted.”
The Commissioner Secretary however, emphasized the Shrine Board to further increase the plant production at its nurseries which will also meet the future requirement of the State Forest Department.

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