The Commissioner / Secretary Department of Forests, Ecology and Environment, J&K, Sh. Sanjeev Verma, IAS along with Dr. Mohit Gera, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & HoFF, J&K and Sh. K. Ramesh Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu visited Purmandal area of Samba District on 2nd April, 2021 in connection with development of a Biodiversity Park and promotion of water conservation activities around the forests of famous temple area for improving the overall aesthetics and water regime of the area.
He visited the site proposed for development of Biodiversity park in forest compartment 35/D Purmandal adjacent to ancient Shiv Temple which is proposed to be established with a view to conserve the biodiversity of the area, creation of awareness among the visitors and the nature lovers and promotion of biodiversity conservation. One Nakshatra Van is proposed to be created according to the Indian system of Astrology that links plants with the motion of different planets. The 27 Nakshatra trees will be planted to bring an aesthetic, healthy and spiritual experience. One herbal garden is also proposed for planting of rare and threatened trees which also have medicinal and religious importance. The measures to be taken for Soil and Water Conservation of catchment area were also discussed in detail.
In order to disseminate the natural and cultural heritage of the area and generate awareness, among children and senior citizens visiting Purmandal, one Bal Van is also proposed in Purmanda area and the Commissioner Secretary Forests directed the DFO Samba for identification of suitable site in Purmandal for development of the area with nature trail, Water Harvesting Structures and other recreational areas along with amenities for Senior Citizens and Children.
PCCF & HoFF proposed promotion of distribution of Seed balls among the Village Panchayats of the area for greening the catchment. The Commissioner Secretary Forests advised the forest department to develop a network of sites with focus on the cultural and natural wealth of the region and follow an integrated approach for the catchment area treatment for water recharge, control of soil erosion and other interventions to improve the vegetation of the area with involvement of Forest, Social Forestry, Environment, Tourism and Irrigation and Flood control Departments.
The Commissioner Secretary Forests also advised on developing a conservation programme for Purmandal Range and its adjoining areas for providing ecological security to urban Jammu. He also inspected Forest Nursery at Purmandal and impressed upon to promote raising of local tree species. PCCF & HoFF, Dr. Mohit Gera apprised the Commissioner/ Secretary Forests on overall greening programme of the department for the year 2021-22 with the involvement of people and use of local varieties of trees. DFO Samba Sh. Som Dutt Khajuria, ACR Samba, Sh. Jatinder Mishra, BDC Chairman Purmandal and officers from DEERS, Irrigation and Flood control, local Sarpanch and staff of Forest Department accompanied the Commissioner Secretary Forests during the visit.

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