Sh S.M.Somashekar IFS,
Haryana is primarily an agricultural state with almost 81% of its land under agriculture. The Forest and Tree Cover extends to 6.65 % of the total geographical area of the state. Forest department is committed to increase the Forest and Tree Cover in the State for improving the Environment and conserving the Bio-diversity of forests and wild life through community participation. To achieve this, schemes like “Har Ghar Hariyali” for planting in every household, Agro-forestry for planting on Farm lands, Panchayat lands and Institutional lands are being implemented. Special emphasis is being given to plantation of indigenous species like Neem, Shisham, Barh, Pipal, Bakain, Jand, Rohera etc.
Nature Education and Awareness Programme has been launched from Kalesar by Hon’ble Chief Minister, Haryana wherein local people especially the youth, women and school teachers are sensitized to preserve and protect the natural resources. Herbal Parks have been developed in every district to bring people closer to the natural ecosystem. So far 58 Herbal Parks have already been established. This will help the people in a long way to adopt environment friendly attitudes in their lives and thus, they will act as Green Volunteers of future.
Vulture Conservation Breeding Programme has been successfully launched in Haryana. This programme is being executed in collaboration with Bombay Natural History Society (Indian NGO), Royal Society for Protection of Birds, London (International NGO) by Forest department, Haryana. Soft release of the captive bred vultures was done by Hon’ble Chief Minister, Haryana at this centre in the month of November, 2015 – the first ever in Asia. This programme has been recognized internationally.
Emphasis has also been given to Soil and Moisture Conservation in the Shivaliks. All existing Water Harvesting Structures (WHSs) in the Shivaliks have been mapped. All feasible sites for construction of new WHSs from Kalesar to Kalka have been identified.
Management Information System (MIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS), significant tools for scientific planning and management, are being developed to improve efficiency in accounts, administration, forest and wildlife management and personnel management. Two e-Citizen Services namely “Permission for felling of trees” and “NOCs in respect of PLPA or Forest or Restricted lands” are being launched online so that the citizens are benefited.
A pilot project on Renovation and Rejuvenation of abandoned bunds has been started in Gurgaon under PPP mode by involving Corporate Houses for funding from CSR funds and Non-Governmental Organization. This will create green urban spaces which will instill the sense of belongingness among citizens.
To further the cause of Forestry & Wildlife, Forest department has been instrumental in organizing rural women into Self Help Groups (SHGs). So far, 2195 SHGs have been constituted in about 946 villages. This has helped in improving their socio economic status, by adoption of Income Generation Activities. These members are actively involved in activities like afforestation, vermi-composting, organic farming, saving girl child etc. This has increased the awareness of masses and will facilitate in making Haryana Clean & Green.
Various initiatives have been taken to protect Wildlife in Shivaliks and Aravallis. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun has been actively involved in mapping wildlife sensitive areas. Govt. of Haryana has taken a laudable step by implementing the concept of Natural Conservation Zones due to which beautiful forests like “Mangar Bani” have been saved.
To make tree planting and protection a way of life, all citizens are requested to make earnest efforts in this direction & to make our surroundings beautiful, clean and green.