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Moisture conservation needed to control forest fires: Dhami 

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By Our Staff Reporter

Dehradun, 5 Jun: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami today directed the officers concerned to work rapidly to ensure water conservation and water storage in the state for successful implementation of the Water Conservation and Tree Plantation Campaign, 2024. He was interacting with senior officers during a meeting held at the Secretariat here today. Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal was also present on this occasion. Dhami said that effective efforts should be made for the revival of rivers and water sources. For this, all the departments should work in coordination with each other. He stated that a Water Festival Week should be celebrated on a large scale across the state from 10 to 16 June.

Work should be done rapidly for the revival of water sources on a scientific basis. For this, the cooperation of UCOST, Uttarakhand Science Education and Research Centre (USERC) and such other organisations working on water conservation and enhancement, should also be sought. Dhami said that public participation is very important to make any campaign successful. Along with those working on water conservation and enhancement, public participation should also be ensured. The Chief Minister directed the officials to prepare a baseline data of the rivers and water sources that have been identified so far for revival. Special attention should be paid to rainwater harvesting.

Moisture conservation would control forest fires. The Forest Department should work by making a comprehensive plan. The construction of Chal-Khal and Amrit Sarovars should be expedited. Effective work should also be done for water conservation, storage and conservation in urban areas, he directed.

Dhami further asked the officials to run a tree plantation campaign on a large scale during the upcoming Harela festival. He asserted that this campaign should be run for a month. Due priority should be given to planting more fruit and shade trees.  He also stressed that along with tree plantation, their conservation is most important. The tree plantation campaign should be run up to the Nyaya Panchayat level. Public awareness programmes should be conducted for water conservation and tree plantation through seminars at the Nyaya Panchayat level. Fruit saplings should be distributed under the tree plantation campaign at the Nyaya Panchayat level, in schools and universities.

Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal stated that public participation is necessary in the tree plantation campaign. He said that linking this campaign with MNREGA will also increase the livelihood of the people. He added that this year this campaign will be expanded up to the Nyaya Panchayat level. Tree plantation will be done by creating sectors by the Forest Department.

Environmentalist Dr Anil Prakash Joshi said that conservation of traditional water sources is necessary. He added that regular work will have to be done on traditional methods of water storage and conservation. It is necessary to make this campaign a public campaign.

Chief Secretary Radha Raturi, Additional Chief Secretary Anand Vardhan, Principal Secretary RK Sudhanshu, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and HoFF Dr Dhananjay Mohan, Secretaries Shailesh Bagoli, Arvind Singh Hyanki, Vinay Shankar Pandey, SN Pandey, Dr R Rajesh Kumar, HC Semwal, IFS officer Dr Parag Madhukar Dhakate, senior officers of the Government and all District Magistrates were present through virtual medium at the meeting.