Ex-servicemen to be roped in for planting saplings: Rawat
Rawat suggested the idea was inspired by General Bipin Rawat’s suggestion to plant saplings of walnuts and pine nuts in border villages. “Such fruits do not need cold storage facility and farmers can easily store and market them.”dehradun Updated: Sep 09, 2017 21:06 IST
DEHRADUN: Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced on Saturday that two dedicated companies of Eco Task Force comprising ex-servicemen would be constituted to undertake planting of saplings in border areas.
Inaugurating a two-day seminar, he said a budget of Rs 50 crore would be set aside for the project. “The budget will be released in the next five years for planting saplings in the state’s border areas,” he said at the State Sustainable Mountain Development Summit.
Rawat suggested the idea was inspired by General Bipin Rawat’s suggestion to plant saplings of walnuts and pine nuts in border villages. “Such fruits do not need cold storage facility and farmers can easily store and market them.”
After the function, Rawat told reporters that the authority set up by the erstwhile BJP government to conserve the receding glaciers would be revived. Earlier, former CM Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank at the seminar, expressed concern that the authority constituted by him was put in abeyance.
Organised by the Uttarakhand government, the seminar was attended by a large number of experts and field practitioners. Expert views would be used as inputs for the migration policy to be formulated by the migration commission constituted recently by the Rawat government, according to additional secretary, planning, Ranjit Sinha.
Expressing concern over the mounting stress on the Himalayan biodiversity due to climate change, Rawat said the state government’s efforts alone wouldn’t help arrest that process. “Conserving the sensitive ecology of the Himalayas shouldn’t be the government’s concern alone. It should also be the people’s concern,” he noted, adding that such a gigantic task “also needs public participation and cannot be realised without that.”
The Himalayas in Uttarakhand fulfill the country’s 65% water requirement. “The perennial rivers like the Ganga, the Yamuna have also been a part of the our culture and traditions and sustained them since time immemorial,” Rawat said, adding underlining the need for public participation in conserving the biodiversity.
Rawat appealed the people to practise three Cs (care, conserve and cooperate) and three Ps (plan, produce and promote). “If we move in that direction, our efforts could result in the interest of the state (and its people). Even farmers can contribute towards conserving the Himalayan ecology by not using chemical fertilisers in farmlands,” he said, adding that the government had introduced water conservation schemes like ‘Jal Sanchay, Jivan Sanchay.’
“Under that scheme, the people are being encouraged to put a bottle each filled with sand inside cisterns, which would help conserve water that goes waste in our toilets,” Rawat said. There were, he added, more than 20 lakh toilets in the state. “So, if we put one bottle full of sand into one cistern in each toilet, we will save 20 lakh litres of water at a time,” he said adding, on an average toilets were used five times a day. “That means, if we use that simple technique we can save one crore litres of water daily.”