CM Committed to New Forest Policy; Visits Baltal, Plants Sapling



Reiterating his commitment to frame a new Forest Policy that will primarily focus on environmental conservation, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Monday described stemming the loss of biodiversity as one of the biggest challenges for the Government.

He said time has come to rethink our relationship with environment by looking for practical ways in harmonizing human activities with what the environment can sustain over the long run, an official statement said this evening.

The Chief Minister said this after planting deodar sapling under Sabzar-wa-Shafaf, an afforestation drive launched by Army’s 15 Corps.

Stressing upon people’s participation in maintaining ecological balance, Mufti Sayeed directed the Forest Department to undertake reforestation drives on denuded forest lands in other parts of the State. “There is also an urgent need to make people cognizant about the significance of forests and protecting our rich biodiversity,” he stated, while indicating that the new Forest Policy will accord highest priority to environmental conservation.

The Chief Minister also emphasized upon the Forest Department to undertake awareness campaigns about ecological conservation so that we are able to save our treasures of nature for posterity.

Stating that tourism, which remains a vital sector driving our economy, will remain subservient to environment, the Chief Minister laid emphasis upon the need to use scientific technologies in proper waste and sewage disposal.

Later, the Chief Minister also visited the Baltal Base Camp where he reviewed the arrangements made for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra.

While briefing the Chief Minister, CEO, Amarnath Shrine Board, PK Tripathi informed that all basic arrangements, in particular relating to health and accommodation, for the Yatris have been made at Baltal and Chandanwari base camps. He said the Yatra tracks from both Baltal and Pahalgam sides to the Holy Cave are clear for the annual pilgrimage to begin on July 2, next month.

Special NDRF, SDRF and Mountain & Avalanche Rescue Teams are in place to meet any emergencies. A fully-equipped 40-bedded hospital has also been established at the Base Camp to cater to the healthcare needs of the pilgrims. Special arrangements have also been made for telecommunications and weather forecasting for the pilgrims during the Yatra.

The Chief Minister was informed that for environment protection, sanitation has been incorporated as the most important component of the management of the Yatra.

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