NGOs, villagers roped in to enhance green cover


Summary: Various places of tourist importance have been developed in the Aurangabad forest division under different schemes during the past three years. In association with NGOs and environmentalists, it had conducted a nature trail at Sarola village, which is known for its biodiversity, said Ashok Girhepuje, deputy forest conservator, forest department, Aurangabad. The forest department has also launched a campaign to rope in villagers to voluntarily enable regeneration of forests. The forest department had organised various programmes to observe the wildlife week from October 2. The prominent among them are Mhaismal, Daulatabad (Khultabad range) and Sarola (Aurangabad range).

AURANGABAD: To stop destruction of forests and increase the green cover to 33% as laid down in the national policy, the Aurangabad forest department has joined hands with a wildlife NGO and villagers to enable regeneration of forests. As part of the wildlife week which concluded on Wednesday, the department has also distributed 32 LPG connections to villagers of Sarola, about 20km from here, to reduce illegal felling of trees in forest areas which is affecting the ecological balance. The forest department had organised various programmes to observe the wildlife week from October 2. In association with NGOs and environmentalists, it had conducted a nature trail at Sarola village, which is known for its biodiversity, said Ashok Girhepuje, deputy forest conservator, forest department, Aurangabad. On the occasion, the department has also distributed 32 LPG connections to the villagers and urged them to stop illegal felling of trees for firewood. The department has distributed 1,169 subsidised LPG cylinders in the past three years to the families living on the periphery of forests to reduce the pressure on the green areas, as villagers depend on forests for firewood and fodder, Girhepuje said. The forest department has also launched a campaign to rope in villagers to voluntarily enable regeneration of forests. Considering the growth in unemployment, Girhepuje urged the NGOs to help generate employment for the rural youth so that they would be engaged in constructive activities and be diverted from getting involved in anti-social activities. The department is also focusing on planting trees for increasing the green cover. It has planted around 1,000 saplings at Sarola, said forest official R Nagapurkar. Various places of tourist importance have been developed in the Aurangabad forest division under different schemes during the past three years. The prominent among them are Mhaismal, Daulatabad (Khultabad range) and Sarola (Aurangabad range). During the same period, many soil and moisture conservation works have also been done under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme. It has generated emplyoment for the local people and improved the quality of the forests, besides increasing the moisture regime of the surrounding area, an official said. Bird lover Kishore Pathak said that over 150 types of birds are found at various wetlands in Marathwada. “Popular wetlands such as Jayakwadi reservoir, Salim Ali lake, Sukhana dam, Sarola, Tembhapuri and Moti Talav attract around 30 species of migratory and 70 species of resident birds.” Pathak also urged the people to stop killing animals. Activist Meghna Badjate of NGO We for Environment (WE) said people should seriously think of conserving green cover and actively participate in tree plantation on a large scale. Environmentalist Milind Girdhari said the government should implement sewage recycling process so that the sewage water which goes waste can be utilised for preserving and nurturing trees. Other organisations which had participated in the nature walk and tree plantation drive included NGO JESA, Lions central, Aastha charity group, students from Queens College of Food Technology, and the Kargil Kruri Samiti.

Source- nyoooz.com

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