Saturday, 26 July 2014

Workshop on Tiger conservation : Celebration of the advent of International Tiger Day:July 26,2014(Saturday)

Today (July26,2014;Saturday), we celebrated the advent of International Tiger Day by holding a workshop on  tiger conservation .International Tiger Day  is on 29th July . Minister of State for Zoological Parks , U.P. was the chief guest.The Keynote speaker was Sri Ravi Singh,SG and CEO , WWF , India. There were  other eminent speakers like Ms. Prerna Bindra,Dr. Dipankar Ghosh(WWF India),Mr Samir Sinha, Dr. Diwakar Chapagaine ,who  made informative presentations  during the technical session.What I spoke as Principal Secretary (Forests and Environment,U.P.) is  as follows.
                                             In 2010, during the Tiger Summit , held in Saint Petersberg,tiger range countries took two important decisions:
1.In every country ,  29th July every year  be celebrated as International Tiger day , to create an  awareness about  tigers .
2.Goal of doubling tiger population by 2022, be fixed.
The population of tigers in 1900 was 100,000 but it dwindled to about 3000 by 2010.This is about 3% of the level of 1900.Tiger has become a threatened species.
                                           Wild  Tigers are found in 14 countries of Asia, and nowhere else in the world.The largest number of wild tigers is in India.The country wise tiger population is as below:
1.India :1706
2.Malaysia :500
3.Bangla Desh:440
6.Thai land:200
14.South Korea:Not available
             Tiger is the national animal of  five countries:
3.Bangla Desh
5.South Korea
Why tiger numbers have come down so drastically?
Three reasons are attributed:
1.Habitat destruction.
2.Habitat fragmentation.
3.Poaching .
I wondered if Darwin's principle was also at play, which says that it is not the strongest who survive .It is the fittest , who have the ability to adapt to the changes , survive.(Later on , experts informed that tiger is a highly adaptable animal.)
                   Tiger has found an eminent place in myths , legends, literature , arts and culture of many countries including India.For instance:
1.Goddess Durga rides on a tiger.
2.Tiger is one of the animals  displayed on the Pashupati Seal of the Indus Valley Civilization .
3.William Blake wrote the classical poem 'The Tyger".
4.Yann Martel wrote the book" Life of Pi", which has also been made into a movie.
5.Aravind Adiga wrote the best seller and Booker Prize winner book "The White Tiger".He used the metaphor of tiger to describe a modern Indian hero,Balram Halwai, who has risen out of poverty and under development.
        In U.P., Dudhwa was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1958.It was notified as a national park in 1977,largely due to the efforts of Billi Arjan Singh, a conservationist of U.P. .It was declared a tiger reserve in 1987.Dudhwa Tiger reserve covers Dudhwa National park,Kishanpur wildlife sanctuary and Katarnia Ghat wildlife sanctuary.
                 In 2012,Amangarh,with an area of 80.6 Sq Kms,was declared second Tiger reserve.
                     On 26th February,2014,U.P. Cabinet approved the proposal to declare Pilibhit as third Tiger Reserve of U.P., with an area of 3000Sq. Kms.Pilibhit Tiger reserve is thus far bigger than even Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
                     There are six areas to work ,for conservation of tigers.These are:
1.Protection of habitat.
2.Fighting wildlife crimes.
3.Building capacity for  management.
4.Reducing demand for tiger meat/bones/teeth and claws.
5.Engaging local communities,especially in human - tiger conflict.
6Drawing on the expertise of global conservation community in technology and innovation.
               What is needed is a coordinated  action of:
2.International agencies.
3.civil Society.
4.Private sector.
         U.P. Tiger Conservation Society has been doing good work in creating awareness, building capacities and adopting innovative measures like promoting technology  for tiger conservation.I congratulate National Tiger Conservation Society, WWF,WTI , WCT and all individuals who are working towards tiger conservation .

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Ground Water Week ,2014 in Lucknow,U.P.

Today (July22,2014;Tuesday),we  organized the event marking the  conclusion of  Ground Water Week in Uttar Pradesh.The event was  graced by  Minister, Minor Irrigation and Ground Water department  of U.P.,Dr J S Samra, Chief Executive Officer,National Rainfed Area Authority,Planning Commission ,New Delhi and Keynote Speaker was  Jal Purush  ,Rajendra Singh.I chaired the session as Agriculture Production Commissioner of U.P.
                         Ground water is used for three purposes.
1.For agriculture.
2.For industry.
3.For drinking water needs.
All the three needs are important , and we need to consume ground water.But the supply of ground water is limited  and we need to use it judiciously.Due to over exploitation , there is a steady depletion of ground water in 630 blocks out of 820 blocks in U.P. There were only 20 over exploited /critical blocks in the year 2000 in U.P. and now this number is 108.The ground water table is falling down at the rate of 91 cms annually in Meerrut , 79 cms in Ghaziabad , 76 cms in Gautam budh Nagar and 70 cms in Lucknow.This is quite alarming.There is an urgent need to arrest and reverse this trend.
                           The one way is to change the cropping pattern from Sugar cane , Paddy  in the western parts of UP to eastern UP.There is hardly any scope  to reduce the requirements of industry and consumption for drinking purposes.This requires community participation in conserving ground water.
                             There is also a need  to have more public investment in ground water as compared to investment in canals and surface water.Planting trees is also a good method to help ground water recharge .Rain water harvesting in urban areas is another effective method for ground water recharge and we must enforce and encourage it .There is a need to  provide adequate manpower with expertise in ground water department , and to build their capacities.
                            A concern was also expressed about  the pollution of ground water and presence of impurities like Arsenic , Lead, Florides and alkalinity.We have to work to provide clean and pure drinking water to our citizens.
                Let us all take some time out to do our bit to  conserve the quantity of ground water and to improve it quality

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Plant a tree

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the second best time is today." Chinese Proverb . . .

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Celebrating Van Mahotsav (July 1,2014 ;Tuesday).The great Indian festival of plantation

Today(July1,2014;Tuesday) ,we celebrated Van Mahotsav in Lucknow.The Chief Minister of U.P.  was the  chief guest. Many senior ministers , officials ,media persons and other dignitaries attended the event.On behalf of Forest Department I welcomed the chief guest and other guests.

My speech: 
Today is the first day of week long(July 1 to 7)celebration of Van Mahotsava. Today is the day to remember the importance of trees in our life. Today is the day to take a step forward in mitigating global warming and climate change. Trees give us oxygen. Trees raise the level of ground water. Trees conserve and preserve biodiversity, ecology and environment. Therefore today is the day when every citizen should resolve that she or he will plant at least one sapling in this year. In U.P this year the program for plantation of trees actually started on June 5, 2014 on the occasion of World Environment Day when the Chief Minister of UP and Jal Purush Shri. Rajendra Singh planted saplings in village Rausa, block Haseran in Kaunnauj. Till today 1,12,500 saplings have been planted in 450 acres in that village and the project has been completed. 
                   Also, today 82232 saplings are being planted in 530 locations of the state to mark the celebrations. In addition Forest department of U.P. has decided to do a large scale celebration on every day of this week in selected districts where plantations will be done in at least a 100 acres in the presence of a well known dignitary. These districts are Etawah, Mainpuri, Badayun, Kanpur Dehat, Lalitpur, Baharaich, Rampur and Sidharthnagar.

The Chief Minister has been continuously emphasizing on e-governance and use of Information and Technology. Inspired by his emphasis, Forest Department of UP has taken certain innovative steps in the area of application of Information and Technology. The three projects which are being dedicated to the public by the chief guest today are as below;
  1. An on line portal on Wild life of UP.(
  2. Forest e-library created on the website of UP Forest Department.
  3. A short film on the state bird Sarus.
Weather it was plantation in1000 acres in Babina or eco restoration project in 1000 acres in Fischer Forest, Etawah, or notification of Tiger Reserve in Pilibhit, or creation of Lion Safari in Etawah, the Chief Minister ,through his soft spoken and persevering leadership has brought about a fundamental change in the working of Forest Department. He has inspired us to touch new heights, for this I express  gratitude to the Chief Minister on behalf of Forest department and extend a warm welcome to him. I also welcome honoured guests, officials and media persons. I have a hope that the celebration will go a long way in participation of people in large numbers ,in making the state of UP greener and cleaner.