Need to actively promote eco tourism in wetlands of State: Lal Chand Kataruchak : Emphasizing upon the need to promote eco tourism in the wetlands of the State, the Forest and Wildlife Preservation Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak today said that this would lead towards generation of employment avenues at the local level.
Presiding over a meeting of the Punjab State Wetlands Authority at the Forest complex in Sector 68, the Minister further pointed out the development of wetlands as a significant factor in contributing to the maintaining of ecological balance. Besides, the Minister also directed the officials of the department to go strict on the mining in the forest areas.
The Minister was further apprised that as part of the Save Wetlands Campaign aimed at protecting the wetlands apart from promoting bio diversity, 1381 wetlands in Punjab have been identified out of which 414 are natural while 967 are man made and each consists of 2.25 Hectares of area. Furthermore, nearly 2300 Wetland Mitars (Volunteers) are working for the conservation of wetlands and awareness programmes are being organized to educate people about the need to preserve wetlands and their ecological importance. Not only this, collaborations have been made with WWF India, Punjab Remote Sensing Centre PAU Ludhiana, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Guru Angad Dev University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (Ludhiana) & Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to achieve wetland conservation goals in the State.
Besides, it was also brought to the notice of the Minister that the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has accepted the proposal of the department to declare the area of 100 Meters around the 7 wetlands of Punjab namely Ranjit Sagar Dam Conservation Reserve, Beas River Conservation Reserve, Kanjli Wetland, Harike Wetland, Ropar Wetland Conservation Reserve, Nangal Wetland and Keshopur – Miani Wetland, as Zone of Influence. It means that any activity in these areas shall be undertaken after permission of the State Forest Department.
The Minister also accorded approval to the proposal for organizing 5th State Bird Festival at Keshopur Chhamb in the month of February this year.
Among those present on the occasion included the Financial Commissioner (Forests) Vikas Garg, PCCF R.K. Mishra, Chief Wildlife Warden Dharminder Sharma and other senior officers.