The 22nd National Forest Sports Meet which held in Bangalore was formally closed with the distribution of prizes amongst the teams.
Over 4000 players from different State Forest Departments participated in this prestigious national event. The culmination of games marked with the distribution of prizes to the teams by J&K State Forest Minister, Bali Bhagat, Forest Minister of Karnataka Government, Rama Nath Rai and former Cricketer Javagal Srinath at an impressive ceremony which was attended by several Karnataka and other State Government dignitaries.
The Jammu and Kashmir Forest Department teams bagged three Gold medals in Football, Snooker and Billiards, while as Silver in Cricket.
Mr.Bali Bhagat, who was part of this National event in Bangalore himself participated in the final of Football match in which J&K defeated Goa by two goals.
The presence of the Minister boosted the morale of the players throughout the tournament, with the result the players did extremely well in all the games and brought laurels to the State.
On the occasion, Mr. Bali Bhagat gave a message to the entire nation for preserving environment which is a cause of concern for everyone at the moment. He made a fervent appeal to all the participants, drawn from the forest departments of different States to put in their best efforts to save the forests in their States in order to maintain balance of ecology in the country. He said forests and other natural resources like lakes and water bodies are the national assets and it is the duty of every citizen to help in conserving these national assets. He said all the States should lay focus on saving the forest land and continue to carry out the plantation drive to rejuvenate the degraded forests.
He said Jammu and Kashmir has launched a vigorous anti-encroachment drive to retrieve the forest land from the illegal possession of culprits and since the formation of BJP-PDP Government, over 21000 kanals of forest land has been retrieved. Besides, the Government has also launched a massive plantation drive to rejuvenate the degraded areas to further promote the environment in the State, said the Minister.