JAMMU: J&K Forestry Department has started making fuel briquettes from Chir pine needles which are abundantly available in Chir forests during the summer.
A program and an awareness campaign on “The generation of livelihoods: from pine needle to organic briquettes” was inaugurated by Dr Mohit Gera, Prof. Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF), J&K at Forest Information Center, Bikram Chowk Jammu. The program was attended by 25 women’s self-help groups. Dry, fallen leaves from ChirPine trees are one of the main causes of forest fires that negatively impact the Department of Forestry’s protection and conservation efforts.
The forestry department controls the burning of chir pine needles for the prevention of forest fires that result in carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. Therefore, the forestry department initiated the use of chir pine needles for various environmentally friendly products with the active participation of self-help groups. The Forestry Department, in collaboration with IIT Roorkee, is setting up five “biological briquette machines” in the forestry division of Nowshera which will be used by the women self-help groups for the production of fuel briquettes which are in high demand. on the market.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mohit Gera, PCCF (HoFF), J&K informed that the Forestry Department is working on government priority on livelihood creation, and the introduction of briquette making machines is a step in that direction, especially for SHG women. He also informed that the process of converting Chir pine needles into a useful resource for energy has great potential not only to provide income-generating opportunities to local communities, but also to mitigate wildfires and change. climate. This bio-briquetting initiative using hand-driven machinery and other such interventions also has immense potential for forest improvement and the active involvement of people in forest management. He also informed that the Forestry Department plans to intensify these initiatives.
Ch. K. Ramesh Kumar, Chief Conservator of Jammu Forests, said that a pilot project is being launched in the Nowshera Forestry Division, for the generation of livelihoods for the locals by engaging them in the making of briquettes and increasing their participation in the management and protection of forests in addition to making them stakeholders in promoting the environmental cause.
Divisional Forestry Officer Neelima Shah gave a detailed description of the pilot project that will be carried out at Nowshera Forestry Division.
The demonstration and detailed presentation of the bio-briquetting machine was made by Dr Rajat Agrawal and Dr Vinay Sharma, Professors of the Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee, especially to the SHG women attending the event. They informed the participants that the machine is completely environmentally friendly as it does not use fuel or electricity and does not create a carbon footprint while in operation. The portable machines designed by IIT Roorkee are easy to use in addition to presenting no risk for its operator and its environment. The briquettes made from it are blocks of “compressed pine needles” used as an alternative fuel for cooking or heating. They will have a high demand in cold areas like the Kashmir valley.
It is worth noting that in recent months, J&K department has taken many initiatives to connect forest management with the life of ordinary people through the promotion of ecotourism, trekking through virgin forests , planting in PRI / local and religious institutions, campaign on “Har Gaon Haryali”, opening of forest huts for the public, training for women’s self-help groups in the manufacture of handicrafts using Chir pine needles , etc.
West Circle Forest Conservator Rajouri, Vivek Verma, presented vote of thanks to PCCF (HOFF) J&K, CCF Jammu, IIT Roorkee professors, women’s support groups, PRI representatives, staff from the Forestry Department. He also recognized the teamwork of DFO Nowshera for the launch of the intervention to manufacture organic pine briquettes in Nowshera.