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ISRO to map afforestation in Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu, India: Jammu & Kashmir state government in India asked the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to conduct satellite mapping to ascertain the exact ground impact of afforestation projects implemented across the state during past two decades.

Through this measure, the government also intends to demarcate the total area under green cover and initiate preventive measures to save it from further encroachments. Though the project is running behind the schedule, the ISRO authorities are expected to start the survey in summer. The survey will also enable the state to assess the density of crops, types and availability of non-timber forest produce and medicinal plants in different compartments.

“We have completed the ground work for ISRO to collect the latest data about the State forests,” said Commissioner Secretary Forest, Shant Manu. He added that the state government will also seek help of the Madhya Pradesh (MP) Government to impart training to the officials in the State to prevent forest fires, which have become a cause of concern during the dry season.

Pertinently, a team from MP recently visited the State to impart training to the forest officials. The team also briefed them about the usage of the GPS and other technical equipments procured by the state recently.

The recorded forest area of JK is 20,230 square kms. About 59 percent of the geographical area of the state is under permanent snow cover, glaciers and cold desert and unable to support tree growth. Out of total area reported for land utilisation, forests constitute nearly 54 percent. About 12,666 square kms area falls in the Jammu region and remaining in the Kashmir division. State has few years back identified five national parks and 14 wildlife sanctuaries for the development of the eco-tourism and the survey will also help the officials to take developmental measures for the purpose.

Source: www.greaterkashmir.com