Commissioner Secretary Forest, Ecology and Environment, M K Dwivedi, on Wednesday launched winter plantation drive of Social Forestry Department here at Kishanpur near Chhani in Kathua.
According to an official, the programme was also attended by Director Social Forestry Department Suresh K Gupta, Conservator Social Forestry along with DFOs and other field staff.
On the occasion, 900 saplings of avenue and forestry species were planted by the participants, the official said.
The Director Social Forestry informed that the Department shall be planting about 12 lakh saplings of different species on more than 300 units/strips greening over an area of 1300 hectares during the winter months throughout the state.
Proven and local species with stress tolerance, evergreen foliage, high canopy area with aesthetic value are to be planted during the drive.
The avenue plantations are being established with an objective of reducing the impact of air, noise, and dust pollution; provide shade wherever possible for temporary relief during hot summer days; break the monotony and improve wayside aesthetics.
Besides the drive is aimed to ensure against possible wayside illegal encroachment of highway side of forest/state land; reduce the impact of soil erosion at sloppy embankments; act as green lugs and reduce the impact of high winds.
On the occasion, the Commissioner Secretary also inspected old plantation units of Kathua, Samba and Jammu Districts and issued instructions regarding their upkeep, maintenance and causality replacement to ensure the objectives of higher survival and micro eco-system balance all along the highway.
He was briefed that on Jammu-Kathua stretch of National Highway, 1.74 lakh plants have already been planted in 937 strips, the official said.