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Haryana forest dept to use GPS to map green areas

Monday, 19 August 2013 | PNS | Chandigarh | in Chandigarh

Haryana Government’s Forest Department is engaged in the exercise of mapping not only the plantation and forest areas but also the areas damaged by fire by using the Global Positioning System (GPS) in the State.

Besides, it also plans to use pictures received from satellites for evaluating the changes in the forest and plantation area. Stating this, Haryana Forest and Environment Minister Capt Ajay Singh Yadav on Sunday said that Management Information System and Geographical Information System were being developed by the Department for better harnessing of the accounts, administration, forest, wildlife and personnel management.

Capt Yadav said that a Memorandum of Understanding for setting up geomatics facility and spatial information system had been signed between the Department and Haryana Space Application Centre, Haryana Department of Science and Technology and National Remote Sensing Centre and Indian Space Research Organization, Hyderabad.

Spatial data bases are being developed for Yamunanagar and Morni Forest divisions as a pilot project, and training is being imparted in a phased manner to the employees for use of software and techniques for regularly maintaining the database.  The Minister said that with a view to containing environmental pollution caused by vehicles, a scheme called Extension Forestry on Farm Land along the highways had been started.

Under the scheme, plantation is being carried out by the Department on farm lands along the highways in the shape of shelterbelts. The Department and farmers jointly protect these plantations for three years after which they are handed over to the farmers. During the current year, the state government plans to spend Rs 9.5 crore on the scheme.

Besides, another scheme ‘Development of Agro-Forestry – Clonal and Non-Clonal’ has been launched to encourage the practice of agro-forestry on farm lands. High quality seedlings are planted on the fields of small and marginal farmers and boundaries of the fields. With a view to promoting agro-forestry in south-west Haryana, the state government has removed restrictions on felling Bakain, Bamboo, Tut, Amrood and Ailanthus trees on the pattern of Eucalyptus and Poplar. During the current year, 2376 RKM of plantations are proposed to be carried out under this scheme.

Forest Minister added that about 10 percent of the total geographical area of the state is waterlogged with the water table at three meters.  In such areas, bio-drainage plantations are undertaken to lower the excess ground water through the transpiration process of trees. In 2013-14, 2500 hectares are proposed to be brought under bio-drainage plantation. This effort is appreciated by the farmers as the plantations help lower the water table and enable the farmers to get good yield of crops, he said.

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