Himachal Pradesh Weekly Current Affairs:
Forest department’s schemes proving beneficial in increasing forest cover and environment protection:
The new schemes launched by the state forest department are not only ensuring an increase in the green cover and environmental protection but also in providing livelihood opportunities to the local people of the state. Special plantation campaigns are being carried out to increase the green cover of the state.
- Last year, 88,53,532 saplings were planted on 9785 hectares of forest land.
- This year, 65,34,217 saplings were planted on about 7499 hectares of forest land under the special plantation campaign.
- The Van Mitra scheme has been started with a view to inculcating the spirit of conservation of forest and environment among school students. Under this, a fixed forest area is being allocated to plus two schools for plantation and looking after the saplings by the students. Last year, 228 schools and 164.30 hectares of land were selected and 166830 saplings were planted under this scheme. During this financial year, 146 schools and 131.5 hectares of land have been identified and a target of planting 130100 saplings.
- The Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecology Management and Livelihood Improvement Project of Rs. 800 crore funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is being implemented in 18 forest divisions of six districts of the state. Last year, Rs. 11.58 crore were spent under the scheme which aims at increasing the forest area and providing local people with forest-based livelihood opportunities. A provision of about Rs. 29.71 crore has been made on this project this year.
- The community forest promotion scheme has been started to actively connect the local people in forest management. Under this, saplings will be planted on the vacant forest area near the villages, and people will also do the work of land and forest enrichment.
- The state government has also launched another scheme named Van Samriddhi-Jan Samridhi, which aims to create employment opportunities by selling wild herbs and promoting their production from private land. Under this scheme, arrangements are being made for the maintenance, value addition and marketing of herbs after forming a group of local residents who collect herbs. The scheme provides for a grant of up to 25 percent to promote herb-based pharmaceutical manufacturing industries.
- The state government has launched another new scheme named Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam, which aims to make people aware of the importance of forests and the rights of girls by planting saplings in the name of a newborn girl.
- Pine leaves are the main cause of fire. A new policy has been formulated to collect these leaves and remove them from forest land. Under this, a provision has been made to provide 50 percent grant (maximum Rs. 25 lakh) on capital investment for setting up industry based on pine leaves.
- Special efforts are being made to remove Lantana from forest land. Last year, Lantana was removed from an area of 4567 hectares, while this year a target has been set to remove Lantana from an area of 5000 hectares.
Recreational fisheries to be started in Kol Dam reservoir to promote high-end tourism:
- To encourage water-based tourism in State, Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to take up sports and recreational fisheries in Kol Dam reservoir in Bilaspur District of Himachal Pradesh by the year 2020.
- State Fishery Department would stock seeds of sport fishes like Mahseer to attract anglers from India and abroad to promote high-end tourism in Kol Dam reservoir.
- At present common carp, silver carp, mahseer, and grass carp fish species are being reared in the man-made water body.
- The Fisheries Department proposes to start sports fisheries in 1302 hectares pondage falling in four districts namely Bilaspur, Solan, Mandi, and Shimla by setting up angling huts in Kol dam reservoir.
- It would involve high-end tourists in angling, thus developing the area as a new tourist destination in the state.
Endangered Golden Mahseer saved from the brink of extinction:
- Golden Mahseer, which is considered as the world’s hardest fighting fish has been saved from brink of extinction through a conservation plan launched to improve the status of this species in the reservoirs and rivers of Himachal Pradesh.
- India’s nearly extinct “‘tigers of the water” which have suffered severe population declines in much of its distribution range and declared endangered by the Washington-based International Union of Conservation of Natural Resources due to pollution, habitat loss and over-fishing is thriving at Mahseer farm at Machhial in Mandi District through artificial breeding in captivity.
- The state government is setting up a new Mahseer hatchery-cum-carp breeding unit at Sunni in district Shimla with an estimated cost of Rs 296.97 lakh to develop methods of breeding under safe conditions in hatcheries.
- It will go a long way in strengthening the fish farm infrastructure in the state. Himachal Pradesh has become a stronghold of the Mahseer fish production in the country which was fast approaching genetic extinction worldwide.
- An estimated 10-12 thousand record highest hatching are expected during this year out of 41450 eggs produced in this year so far.
- The state’s water bodies are home to 85 fish species, including Rohu, Catla and Mrigal and Trout, both brown and rainbow.The state’s water bodies are home to 85 fish species, including Rohu, Catla and Mrigal and Trout, both brown and rainbow.
Read more: HP Current Affairs [Weekly and Monthly]
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