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Sikkim increases forest cover by over 4 percent since 1993: CM Chamling

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Sikkim

Gangtok | A plethora of initiatives for preserving biodiversity in Sikkim such as spreading mass awareness and adopting an eco-friendly policy has led to an increase of its forest cover by over four percent since 1993, Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has said.

The green cover in the tiny northeastern state has risen to 47.62 percent in 2017 from 43.95 percent in 1993, Chamling said at a seminar here Tuesday. The state is “very committed” about conserving biodiversity by spreading mass awareness and necessary legislation, the chief minister said.

Sikkim, covering just 0.2 percent of the geographical area of the country, has tremendous biodiversity and is a part of the global biodiversity hotspot.

“We have consistently focused on how best to bring additional area under forest cover and help contribute to a greener regional landscape as the Sikkim Himalaya is a part of one of the important Global Biodiversity Hotspots”, he said at the international symposium on Evergreen Oak Forests in the Eastern Himalayas.

Protection and conservation measures such as Ten Minutes to Earth, ‘Smritivans’, Mith or Mitini Tree (adopting a tree), besides ‘Paryavaran Mahotsav’ have helped the state to enhance its green cover in public and private lands.

Referring to the importance of oak trees, the chief minister suggested growing oak trees in agroforestry systems to reduce the huge pressure on natural forests. “It would be vital to see that our efforts ensure that the oak forests continue to provide eco-system services to the people and environment,” he said.

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Soldier killed as Pak army violates ceasefire along LoC in Rajouri

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security

Jammu| An Army soldier was killed when Pakistan violated the ceasefire by heavily shelling forward areas and posts along the Line of Control with mortar bombs in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district Thursday, officials said.

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire in Keri belt of Sunderbani sector this morning, they said.

One soldier was was killed in Pakistani firing, they added.

Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire over 110 times along the LoC since January.

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CRPF jawan kills 3 colleagues in J-K

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CRPF

New Delhi| Three CRPF personnel were killed Wednesday after a colleague allegedly fired at them after an altercation at their camp in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

 

The alleged fratricide incident happened at around 10 pm when constable Ajit Kumar shot three of his colleagues from his service rifle at the 187th battalion camp of the force in the Battal Ballian area in Udhampur, they said.

 

The officials said while three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were killed in the firing, Kumar also shot himself and is critical in a hospital.

 

Kumar hails from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and was rushed to a military hospital nearby, they said.

 

The deceased have been identified as head constables Pokarmal R of Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, Yogendra Sharma of Delhi and Umed Singh of Rewari in Haryana.

 

The incident is said to be triggered after the jawans had an altercation, they said.

 

Senior CRPF and police officials have rushed to the spot, they added.

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National

Vice president, PM greet nation on Holi

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Narendra Modi

 

New Delhi| Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday greeted people on Holi, saying the festival symbolises the victory of good over evil.

In his message, Naidu said, “Holi is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. It is a festival that expresses joy and camaraderie.”

 

Modi hoped that the festival of colours will bring peace, harmony, prosperity and happiness in our lives.

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