Green J&K State
Governor’s administration has decided to make J&K State greener and has embarked on a ambitious project of making it a success with the first phase to start from Jammu on July 8 to implant 9 lakh samplings during the current monsoon season. This is one of the biggest projects taken by the Governor’s administration in the direction of protecting the environment in the State.
In this direction, State Administrative Council (SAC) accorded sanction to the devolution of powers to Panchayati Raj Institutions for undertaking various Social Forestry activities to improve the forest based resources for people and livestock, converting wasteland into small village wood lots/strips, raising wind breaks/shelterbelts in vulnerable areas etc.
SAC approved the devolution of powers to Panchayats by the Department of Forest, Environment & Ecology in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 2018 by amending SRO-61 of 1992, SRO-17 of 1999 and SRO-143 of 2011. The village will be taken as base unit and concerned Panchayats will act to meet the requirement of participatory approach of Social Forestry. A village is a micro unit of Panchayat. One Panchayat in J&K covers/supervises about 2-3 villages.
The sites for various afforestration works under all the schemes, wherever feasible/applicable will be identified and proposed in consultation with concerned Halqa Panchayat and Village Panchayat (Plantation) Committees. The Sarpanch/Panch (as the case may be) will function as Ex-Officio Chairman of Village Executive Committee of the Village Panchayat (Plantation) Committees instead of selection by Village Committee (General Body).
The plans under different afforestration schemes of Social Forestry will be formulated by the concerned Village Panchayat (Plantation) Committees in consultation with Halqa Panchayats and Social Forestry Department.
The plants shall be provided by the Social Forestry Department. However, digging of pits and planting will be done through the Village Panchayat (Plantation) Committees. It may be emphasized that any need based/watch and ward/seasonal engagement for social forestry works transferred to the Gram Panchayats will be done by the Village Panchayat Committees. These labourers will be hired exclusively by on day to day basis without creating any liability for the Government.