EXPANDING GREEN COVER

While the Van Mahotsav festival is celebrated from 1st July to 7th July every year, thereafter the plantation drives gain momentum across the nation as it is the period when monsoon showers facilitate the growth of tree saplings. The aim of Van Mahotsav is to formulate and launch programmes to increase the green cover by encouraging massive plantation drives in the entire country. For this it is necessary that focused and concerted efforts are made to preserve the green gold of the nation especially in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Though not much enthusiasm could be witnessed this year in the state most probably due to transition to Governor’s Rule and other priority concerns, yet given the tempo of plantation drives last year and the sporadic drives continuing till date, it is sure to help in arresting the extensive environmental degradation that has taken place over decades across the state. It is an acknowledged fact that the people of this state have been paying a heavy price for the environmental degradation that has resulted in multiple hazards linked to it. If we want to save the state from the environmental hazards then we need to realize that afforestation is the only panacea and needs to be taken up vigorously by one and all. This is one of the most significant responsibilities of every individual towards the society. Common people should realize that their role in this regard is of utmost importance in promoting environmental activities. On account of lack of green cover or forests not only the ecosystem of the animals, but also the delicate balance of nature has already got disturbed to dangerous levels of which the present day droughts and floods are great indicators and need to be taken quite seriously. It is a reality that afforestation can go a long way in reversing the climate change effect but as per the revealed data regarding plantation drives being conducted across India after mid fifties today there should have been no need for any further plantation drive. This clearly implies that either the plantation drives have remained confined to paper work only or else there is no after care of the plantations after the drives are over. This is a serious issue that needs to be probed by the government to re-strategize its policy towards sustainable development. In such a scenario there is a dire need to adopt a serious approach to capture and use the traditional knowledge and experiences from some undisturbed ecological areas across the globe and not only implement such traditional eco-projects in the state but also promote traditional construction patterns instead of raising concrete jungles for residential accommodations. While on one hand it would end a lot of ailments of the people that have resulted due to use of non-traditional construction materials, at the same time it would inch towards sustainable development at a greater pace. There is a dire need for the concerned department to make all out efforts to protect and preserve the green wealth through massive plantation drives across the state to improve the green cover with ornamental, medicinal and fruit trees. It is hoped that the state being presently under the Governor’s Rule, as such the department leaving no room for laxity emphasizes equally upon plantation as well as the after care of the planted saplings during these drives so as to ensure that funds spent on these drives do not go down the drain and that the desired results are achieved.