Bihar’s forest department thinks seriously about Jatropha

The Singh hum forest division is all set-to expand its green cover. Its bid for a plantation drive for Jatropha and Karanj has received a shot in the arm as the state forest department is serious about giving the go-ahead signal for it. The proposal of the Singh hum forest division was accepted by the forest ministry at a meeting held here recently. The initiative will not only increase the green cover in the region but will also generate income. Both Jatropha and Karanj are indigenous and bio-diesel plants. Plantation of these varieties of plants had been undertaken earlier also but the new initiative has been taken on a large-scale. Officials of Singh hum forest department said land of the region is suitable for plantation of Jatropha (also called RatanJyot here) and Karanj. “We have identified on-forest land for plantation. Members of co-development committees will be asked to help for the project,” they added.

The soil quality as well as the topography of the region has been taken into account before making the proposal of Jatropha and Karanj plantation.” We have done a lot of homework about the project. Details of the project have more or less been sorted out. The forest ministry, during the meeting, has also given positive signals about the project,” the forest officials said. Both these varieties of plants have commercial use. “We have been asked to send the proposal. It is a departmental procedure which we have to fulfill. The formal approval will be given soon,” the officials said. The project was widely discussed at the meeting in the presence of forest minister Harinarayan Rai. Satyajit Singh, divisional forest officer of Singh hum, said the initiative taken by them will bear fruit in future.” We have gone through the details of the project.

[hidepost] The initiative would start taking shape once the proposal is officially passed by the ministry,” he added. Forest officials said they would have to go through a lot of logistics for the success of the project. Besides plantation, the marketing aspects of the project also has to be taken into account. “We have a huge task in our hands as the project entails several details. But we have chalked out most of the detail and are awaiting the formal approval from the forest department,” they added. The listing of members of the eco-d envelopment committee has already begun. They have also been intimated about the project.” We have very less manpower in our department.

So help from eco-development committee has to be taken. Both men and women members, who are residents of villages coming under the Singh hum forest belt, would be engaged in plantation and related jobs,” the officials said. Jatropha and Karanj plantation had been earlier undertaken under the Chandil subdivision in the neighbouring Seraikela-Kharsawan district. But the magnitude of the project is not as large as being initiated by the Singh hum forest division, the foresters added. The saplings for the project would be purchased from village marketing committees. Singhbhum forest division officials said they would hold a meeting after the clearance of the project. “The meeting will be convened to chalk out the last minute details. Members of the eco-development committees as well as some village chieftains would also be invited to attend the meeting. The project is expected to roll out in a month’s time,” an official said.

(Jayesh Thaker)