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IIE takes up afforestation project at Jonai

By ANN Service

JONAI, July 27 - The Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE), which has been set up under the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, along with the help of Dhemaji Forest Division has taken up an afforestation project under the Joint Forest Management initiative to regenerate greenery in the degraded Poba Reserve Forest (RF) on the outskirts of Jonai town.

The IIE conducted a meeting recently with the Forest Department officials and residents of fringe villages and constituted two joint forest management committees (JFMCs) at Leku and Rigbi to implement the afforestation scheme. The IIE has also taken up construction of two community halls in the fringe villages under the JFM entry plan activity.

The plantation scheme under JFM was recently launched by Dhemaji Deputy Commissioner RA Korati along with plantation of saplings at the degraded forest near Leku Beat Office in Poba Reserve Forest. The Deputy Commissioner, who was accompanied by the Divisional Forest Officer Prasant Dhanda, urged the Forest officials and JFMC members to play an active role in conservation of forests and other natural resources for the future generation.

Sources informed that a total area covering 60 hectares of degraded forest in Poba RF has been selected during the first phase, wherein the JFMC members have been engaged to regenerate the greenery through plantation of evergreen trees of different species. The Forest Department has forwarded a model estimate, including material and labour cost for the project. The department also submitted a DPR against two proposed community halls under entry plan activity with an estimated cost of Rs 2 lakh per building.

Meanwhile, the IIE is running a handicraft project under �Livelihood Entrepreneurship Development Programme (LEDP)� involving the rural weavers of Rigbi village in order to make finished products from handicraft items. It has already granted six spinning machines along with 10 mechanised weaving sets to the weavers. The project aims to achieve economic empowerment of rural women though handloom and handicraft activities.

On the other hand, the Forest Department has submitted a project proposal for a bio-gas scheme to the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Ltd, which is awaiting financial sanction.

Earlier in December, the Forest Department of Jonai implemented a power fencing project to minimise the incidence of man-elephant conflict in the rural areas adjacent to the reserve forest. Thus, solar panel-operated shock-emitting string was erected along the boundary of Poba RF from Bahir-Sille village to Leku Beat Office near Arunachal Pradesh covering a 10-km stretch. Funds released against the project was Rs 2.90 lakh.

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