The Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar Dr Farooq Ahmad Lone, Wednesday said nearly 3 lakh plants will be planted during year to improve the green cover of the historic city. “Greenery is depleting all around the world, putting a question mark on the survival of Planet Earth. To negate the impact of climate change, we should make use of available spaces and make Srinagar a green and clean City,” Dr Lone said during a meeting to review the action plan of different departments for the plantation drive in Srinagar district. The Deputy Commissioner said a fresh plantation drive will begin in Srinagar city from March involving different departments during which conifers and other plants will be planted while as the plantation drive of about 300 Chinar trees will also start from March 8 in the city. It was revealed in the meeting that 2 lakh plants will be planted by Urban Forestry department in Srinagar district, out of which 160,000 alone will be confers like Deodar, while the rest will be plants of other species. The meeting was also told that about 20,000 conifer plants will be put up for sale by the urban forestry department at Rs 13.50 per plant. Dr Lone said the departments should focus on improving the green cover of Zabarwan forests, from Gupkar to Dara, Hari Parbat and Shankaracharya while urging the officers to involve Non-Governmental Organisations to create awareness about the importance of increasing greenery of Srinagar city. “Fresh plantations must be done away from rivers and rivulets so that their carrying capacity is not impacted and soil erosions are prevented. You should particularly involve schools and colleges because their campuses have a lot of vacant space to accommodate new trees,” he said. Dr Lone said the district administration will revive the policy of providing free plants to every family with a kitchen garden in Srinagar city, “Such households will get six different plants like apple, pear, plum, etc. Officials of Social Forestry Department, who attended the meeting, suggested that the main roads in Srinagar should be divided and given under the care of different departments like R&B, Floriculture and Urban Forestry, which will also ensure longevity of fresh plantations. The department said over 500 trees damaged by 2014 floods have been replaced in different parts of Srinagar. “Avenue plantation should be done by involving local community so that the survival rates get enhanced,” he said. The meeting was attended by Director School Education Kashmir, Dr Shah Faesal and officers of LAWDA, Tourism, Social Forestry, Urban Forestry, Rural Development, R&B, Soil Conservation departments among others.
2015 Kashmir Despatch