GANDERBAL: Commissioner Secretary Forest, Ecology and Environment, Sanjeev Verma, visited Ganderbal and took stock of wetlands of the district.
During the visit, the Commissioner Secretary was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Krittika Jyotsna, ACR Ganderbal, Regional Wildlife Warden Kashmir, ACD, DFO Sindh Forest Division Ganderbal, and other concerned officials.
Commissioner Secretary visited Ahan Sar, Waskura Sar, and Manasbal lakes to have a firsthand appraisal of the management of these water bodies. These three water bodies are on the verge of being notified as wetlands under Wetland Management Rules of 2017.
While inspecting the management of these wetlands, the Commissioner Secretary was informed that the brief documents have already been prepared and submitted by the district administration in this regard.
Commissioner Secretary directed the officers for preparation of management plan of these water bodies to undertake desolation and de-weeding works. In this regard, he sought the collaboration of Revenue, Forest, and Rural Development departments towards the restoration of these wetlands.
While ascertaining the physical condition of the water bodies, Commissioner Secretary asked for the formulation of a management plan for these wetlands containing all components to restore these wetlands to their pristine glory.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Secretary interacted with the PRIs and locals and urged upon them to extend their cooperation to the administration in the conservation of these wetlands as the livelihood of people living on the edges of these wetlands depends to a large extent on the productivity of wetlands.
He stressed generating mass awareness among the people especially those living along the peripheries of these water bodies regarding the intrinsic natural values of wetlands. He also emphasized the need to encourage farmers for using biofertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers adding that the loss of the wetlands would be tantamount to losing their lifeline.