Umaisar Gull Ganie
Srinagar, Oct 3: To safeguard the environment in the Kashmir Valley and to promote sericulture sector, Central Silk Board in collaboration with National Highway’s Authority of India under a pilot project has started plantation of mulberry saplings on 54 kilometre stretch on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway from Pampore to Qazigund.
Officials said that the collaborative project aims to provide green cover on National Highways with mulberry trees in Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
They said inauguration of Pilot Project “Development of Mulberry (Morus spp) Plantation on National Highways on the sides of carriageways in Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand was done by Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Upendra Prasad Singh at Galander Pampore on Saturday.
“In J&K, a distance of 54.2 km will be covered along the carriageways of Srinagar-Banihal Section of NH-44 at a cost of Rs 161.105 lakhs, where a total of 19,283 mulberry saplings will be planted in J&K in the selected sites of NH-44 from Gallander to Qazigund. On the other hand, a total of 34.43 km will be covered with 55490 mulberry saplings at selected sites of national highways in Uttarakhand,” they said.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of J&K’s Forest Force, Dr Mohit Gera said that they are promoting mulberry as it is good fodder and is being used for silk worm cultivation.
“The programme of forest department is ‘One Beat Guard One Village’ and we are including mulberry in the programme too,” he said.
Meanwhile, secretary Ministry of Textiles, Upendra Prasad Singh told KNO that mulberry leaves are a feeding material for silk worms and most of the mulberry silk is produced in Karnataka but Kashmir is also the dominant centre and more silk can be produced in J&K.
He added that plantation of mulberry will provide greenery as well as feeding material to silk wormers and around 55 km are under mulberry cultivation in Galander and module is being repeated in other places as well.