By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 22 Nov: A week long training on ‘Silviculture and Forestry’ for the Personnel of Ecological Battalions of the Territorial Army was organised by the Silviculture and Forest Management Division of Forest Research Institute, here, from 18 to 22 November. This course is a joint venture of FRI and the 127 Infantry Battalion Ecological (TA), Garhwal Rifles. As many as 23 personnel, including Officers, JCOs and Jawans from 8 Eco Battalions of the Territorial Army from many regions of the country such as Delhi, Rajasthan, Shimla, Samba (Jammu), Prayagraj, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand participated in this course. At the inaugural session, FRI Director Arun Singh Rawat said that Eco Battalions of the Territorial Army were doing commendable work on afforestation of degraded, disturbed and difficult sites and on cleaning and rejuvenation of the Ganga river. This training would provide scientific inputs on silvicultural aspects like seed collection, quality evaluation, nursery raising and plantation establishment, as well as disease/pest management and phytoremediation. He said that FRI could have experimental trials of biofertilisers, biopesticides, etc., at the plantations of various species raised by the Eco Task Force. Col Vaidya, Commanding Officer, 127 ETF, Garhwal, briefed participants on the plantation projects being carried out by the unit, which also addressed the issue of climate change. Arti Chaudhary, Head, Silviculture and Forest Management Division, welcomed the participants and said that, during this course, apart from the lectures, visits were also conducted to the nursery, laboratories and experimental sites. Dr Manisha Thapliyal, Course Coordinator, gave a detailed report on the course and said that more emphasis was given to practical exposure in seed handling, nursery establishment and management, as well as plantation activities. The training module covered the techniques of seed dormancy pretreatments, seed storage, clonal propagation of bamboo, propagation of medicinal plants, nursery techniques of important tree species of Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, HP, Maharashtra and J&K. The training lectures also included soil fertility management in nursery and plantations, afforestation of difficult sites, restoration activities in deserts, plantation techniques in mined out areas and management of fungal and insect-pest diseases in nurseries and plantations, visits to common facility centre for bamboo processing and treatment, seed processing unit, botanical garden, bambusetum, etc. The participants also visited various museums of FRI to gain knowledge on history of forestry/ silviculture and other sciences.