SRINAGAR, MAY 08: To take the first-hand appraisal of the department and its allied wings, Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology, Rajiv Jasrotia convened an introductory meeting with senior officers of the forest department today here at Forest Research Institute Cheshmashahi.

During the meeting, Jasrotia was briefed about the organization chart of the department and activities undertaken by the department and its allied wings.

While reviewing the wildlife department, the Minister asked the concerned for adopting a viable strategy for providing best possible publicity and promotional plan to attract tourists from all over the world to visit the National parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Jammu and Kashmir.

Minister called for collective efforts by all stakeholders to bring visible changes and overcome challenges related to the forest department and stressed on optimal utilization of available resources and manpower.

Stressing on the role of forests in the maintenance of ecological balance and environmental stability, Minister said that forests are a repository of biodiversity and the survival of mankind depends on the presence of healthy forests and said it the responsibility of forest department to protect and manage forests.

Minster asked the HODs to manage forests on scientific lines through the preparation of working plans for each forest division and give top priority to conservation of forests.

During the meeting, important issues such as staff, infrastructural requirements, limited funding issues and many alike were taken up during the meeting and directions were passed by the Minister in this regard.

Later the Minister met with the officials of PMGSY and R&B to discuss the transfer of forest-land that is under different development projects executed by these departments.

Commissioner Secretary, Forest Department Saurabh Bhagat; PCCF (Territorial), ManojPanth; Chief Wild Warden, Revi Kumar; Managing Director, SFC, Suresh Chugh; CCF Kashmir, S.F.A. Gillani; CCF Jammu, Sameer Bharti; HOD’s of allied departments besides other senior officers of the department attended the meeting.