SRINAGAR: The Srinagar district administration has initiated a major environmental project around the Jhelum river.
The project comprises multiple components ranging from soil and moisture conservation to plantation to environmental education in schools to research-based planning and impact assessment.
This was informed in a meeting of convened here under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.
Under the environmental education component of the project, all schools up to one kilometre from the Jhelum river on both sides will be provided a grant of one lac rupees and environmental clubs of students will be created in them.
The aim is to utilise the services of schools and students and help protect the environment and promote the advancement of environmental conservation.
Under the soil and moisture conservation component of the project, the district administration is providing 2 crore rupees to the Forest department for taking up activities aimed at care for the environment.
It involves initiating various activities to protect the environment and promote a culture that cares for it and works towards the advancement of environmental conservation of the environment.
The Forest department will involve all local stakeholders and seek their advice and assistance in this effort. Some of the stakeholders to be involved therein will be environmental bodies and NGOs associated with efforts for environmental conservation in J&K in general and Srinagar in particular.
In order to ensure that this project and its aims as envisaged thereunder are taken to their logical conclusion, the administration has collaborated with the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology to guide it.
The SKUAST will provide relevant guidance and will be involved in all relevant efforts — right from the planning to the impact assessment.
The meeting also approved the provision of relevant requirements like boats to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation to facilitate taking up of works entrusted to them or agencies it might involve as part of this project.
Speaking on the occasion the DC stressed the critical importance of environmental conservation. He said the environmental project as has been initiated is aimed at efforts to ensure just that.
Meanwhile in a separate meeting of the committee for approval of mining plans the mining plans of eight out of ten mining blocks in the district submitted to the Geology and Mining department were approved.
Their approval follows a series of meetings held to discuss the plans and scrutinize their worth and viability. The suggestions of the Irrigation & Flood Control department and an SOP that the department had designed for methods of mining were an important context against which these plans were approved.
Dr Shahid while speaking in the meeting emphasised that all these efforts and activities must have involvement of local stakeholders and issued directions in the regard so that the livelihood of those associated with it is protected and promoted.
In addition to all committee members representatives from I&FC, H&UD and RDD as special invitees and DFOs Soil Conservation and Social Forestry and District Pollution Control Officer attended the meeting. Joint Director Planning Srinagar was also present.