Sunday, June 21, 2009

Heavenly environment of J&K to be protected through holistic approach

Omar, Jairam conduct joint visit to lakes, other water-bodies of Valley

Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah and Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest, Mr. Jairam Ramesh today conducted a visit of the Valley lakes. They visited Dal, Nageen, Khushalsar, Anchar, Manasbal and Wullar lakes. The Union Environment Minister is here to review the projects under-execution for the conservation of water-bodies in the State. Immediately after his arrival, the Chief Minister along with Mr. Ramesh visited various environment-related spots. The Chief Minister discussed measures of protection and preservation of water-bodies with special reference to Dal and other lakes with Mr. Jairam Ramesh and highlighted the need for protecting these in the larger interests of the State. The Chief Minister emphasized that time has come to take holistic view for protecting the heavenly environment of the State with active support of Union Ministry of Environment and Forest. He, along with the Union Minister, during the visit of various lakes, decided to take active steps for their revival and restoring their past glory. He said even though various steps have been taken to protect the water-bodies, particularly Dal lake, an intensified programme is required to be launched to protect these, adding appropriate steps for rehabilitation of the people whose bread and butter is connected with these water-bodies are also required to be taken. Mr. Abdullah said his government has already started a massive development programme to protect these lakes and informed the Union Minister that all these water-bodies are icons of our heritage, for which the entire people of the State feel concerned. He appreciated the concern of the visiting Union Minister for protection of environment in J&K, including water-bodies and forests. The Chief Minister said J&K has been bestowed with a precious treasure of green gold in the shape of dense forests and his government has accorded top priority to not only protect these forests, but also grow more trees on barren plateaus. For that matter, he said an intensified programme has already been taken in hand under which lakhs of saplings have been planted. He also informed the Union Minister about the steps taken by the State government in protecting the grand Chinar and other royal trees of the State, adding a drive has been launched to grow Chinar trees at a massive scale. Mr. Abdullah urged people to get proactively involved in the State’s drive to revive the glory of the Dal and other lakes so that we safeguard the treasure of water-bodies bestowed on us by nature. Mr. Ramesh expressed his appreciation for the concern of the Chief Minister for protecting the environment of the State. He praised the heavenly beauty of the Valley and promised that his ministry will take appropriate steps for supplementing the endeavours of the State government to protect green pastures, heritage mountains, forests, natural springs and streams. Later, the Union Environment Minister also visited the Dal lake in a boat to get on-the-spot appraisal of ongoing developmental works and the problems of Dal dwellers. Earlier, Mr. Ramesh arrived at Srinagar Airport, where he was received by the State Minister for Forest and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmad.