CS Chairs CAMPA Steering Committee Meeting

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Srinagar: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, today chaired the Steering Committee meeting of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to review the achievements recorded under the plan of operations (APO).

At the start, Dr. Mohit Gera, Senior Chief Conservator of Forests, gave an overview of key government initiatives including Green J&K Drive, Har Gaon Haryali, creating livelihoods from forests, ecotourism and main achievements of the department during the current period. year.

He was informed that in the past two years, CAMPA has almost tripled its activities. Out of an average annual coverage of 5,000 ha through 2019-20, the Department will cover the rehabilitation of about 14,000 ha in the current fiscal year and about 18,000 ha in the next fiscal year. In addition, each job under CAMPA has been given a unique identifier to ensure its execution, monitoring and maintenance for an efficient result.

It was further informed that detailed site specific plans and their location maps for the rehabilitation of degraded forests have been prepared for the next financial year using the CAMPA portal. The rehabilitation plan includes protective fencing and the planting of approximately 1.70 crore of plants, the highest ever in J&K’s history. The plan also includes spreading 25.18 lakh seed balls and sowing in 40.59 lakh plots and 10.21 lakh dibbles as low cost reforestation measures.

In addition, various soil conservation measures such as dry rubble masonry, crates and water harvesting structures/ponds have been proposed to boost eco-restoration efforts. To protect forest lands from encroachment, it is proposed to erect 23,500 new boundary markers in 2022-2023.

The proposed plan places special emphasis on eco-restoration of Kandi areas in Jammu as well as Kashmir region and increased grass and fodder production. The Wildlife Protection Department will work on wildlife habitat improvement, soil and water conservation works, maintenance of animal rescue centers, eco- development and development of wildlife-related infrastructure.

During the meeting, the PCCF informed that 100 biggest encroachments on forest lands have been removed and more than 23,000 earth canals have been recovered from encroachments.

The Chief Secretary instructed the Department to prioritize modernization through remote sensing and GIS tools for the preparation of digital maps, equipment such as CCTV, drones, camera traps, GPS for operation more efficient.

Dr. Mehta called on the Forestry Department to take action to improve forest livelihoods, establish a deeper connection with the Panchayats and rehabilitate degraded forests within a limited time frame, in addition to placing special emphasis on conservation of forests, forest fire mitigation and the planting of 1.7 crore of trees. He also emphasized fodder production and water conservation.

Occasional publications on ‘Wetlands in Forest Areas of J&K’, ‘Forest Trek Routes’, ‘Calendar highlighting Forest Recreation and Other Interventions’, ‘Asian Waterbird Census in Jammu & Kashmir’, pamphlet on ‘Pine Needles to Handicraft ‘, and a documentary about ‘Van Se Jal: Jal Se Jeevan’ were also released.

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