Conservation of water bodies, ponds Govt’s priority: Lal Singh

SAMBA, SEP 13: Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Choudhary Lal Singh today said the government has taken various path-breaking steps for the revival of traditional water resources including village ponds.
“The preservation, conservation and rejuvenation of village ponds are our priority,” he said, adding that over the centuries, these acted as perennial source to meet the water requirements in rural areas. He said the concerned officers have been entrusted with the responsibility to keep these traditional sources clean, plant trees in their surroundings and construct pathways for the convenience of villagers.
The Minister was addressing a gathering after laying foundation stone for restoration of pond at Gur Galian Mandi in Samba to be executed by Soil and Water Conservation Department.
Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu Farooq Gillani, Chief Wildlife Warden, Conservator of Forests, East Circle Jammu Qamar Din, Joint Director, Soil and Water Conservation Department Pawan Kumar Kudyar, CGM State Forest Corporation Arshad Mughal, DM, SFC Arif and other senior officers were present in the meeting.
Stressing that controlling pollution is the need of the hour, the Minister said the pollution control laws need to be effectively enforced to ensure that industries follow the norms with regard to treatment of chemical and other waste. He asked the officers to deal with forest land encroachers with iron fist.
The Minister further said that the fencing and pathway construction work of the forest land around the human habitations will be started soon to check encroachment and to regulate the movement of people in the protected areas. He urged the youth to come forward and contribute in the conservation of forests by taking part in the plantation drives.