Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmed on Sunday offered a participatory role for people in the schemes being implemented for the conservation of the State’s rich natural resources. Addressing a series of meetings on the first day of his two day tour to the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, the Minister said that the Government was keen to involve people in both developmental and conservation schemes being implemented to save and conserve the natural, cultural and historical legacies of the State. He said a sustainable development of all the regions was the ultimate aim of the Government. Speaking at a public meeting at village Dodasan Bala, Rajouri, the Minister reiterated the resolve of the Government to provide all basic amenities to the people of rural areas. He said provision of medicare, education, potable water road facilities was the top priority of Mr. Omar Abdullah led Government. The Minister said that massive developmental programme has been launched across the State for creating adequate social infrastructure with the aim of promoting economic activities. He said connectivity of all the villages with the nearest urban centres taken up on fast track was the major step in this direction. Assuring that Government was abreast with the problems of the people, especially living along Line of Control, the Minister said that they have been suffering for last over six decades on account of continues disturbance between India and Pakistan. Asserting that People living on either side are now strongly aspiring for permanent peace , He said friendly relationship between India and Pakistan was in the interest of people of both the countries as much blood has been spilled during wars and twenty years of militancy. The Minister also launched a forestation drive at Limberi village of Rajouri and announced that 2 Lakh saplings of various species, having cash value of Rs. 30 lacs would be provided to rural areas of the district on nominal prices. Mian Altaf said that saplings of valuable trees like Bamboo and Amala would be provided to people under Social Forestry Scheme, so that they could also get handsome dividends, besides contributing in adding to the forest cover of the area. Director Social Forestry and other senior officers of Forest Department accompanied the Minister during his tour.