Budgam (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], September 18 (ANI): As a part of the 'Green Jammu and Kashmir drive' launched by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha earlier on July 31, Sheikh-ul-Alam Nursery in Budgam district is growing thousands of plants that are distributed throughout the entire union territory.
The saplings supplied by the nursery are planted by the forest department, security forces, schools and other civil society groups to increase the green cover across Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to ANI, Budgam Forest Division Range Officer Tariq Nazir Shah said the nursery, established in 2001, supplies plants every year to degraded forest areas for aforestation.
"This nursery is spread across an area of six hectares but we work on an area of three hectares. Since local people work in this nursery, it also helps in generating employment," stated Shah.
The nursery forester Jahangir Ahmad said that they aim to revive the green cover primarily with the local varieties of conifers like kale.
"We collect seeds of kale and spruce from our own forest and the seeds of plants like deodar and fir are provided to us by the forest department," he stated.
The locals appreciated the initiative and said that more such steps should be taken to increase the green cover across the union territory.
"It is a very good step in terms of improving the quality of the environment and also for generating employment for local people," said Nazir Ahmad, a local resident.
The Green Jammu and Kashmir Drive initiative is in consonance with the National Forest Policy, 1988 and the Jammu and Kashmir Forest Policy, 2011 which envisage afforestation on all degraded and denuded lands in the Union Territory within and outside forests. (ANI)