Markets along Ganga in UP to discourage illegal farming, fishing
Bijnor (UP), April 26 (IANS) To encourage the local people in conservation of biodiversity, the Bijnor administration has decided to develop an open-air market and a craft bazar along the river in the area.
A forest official said on Tuesday that the primary goal is to encourage villagers to participate in the exercise and also develop an alternate source of income as well.
"We have been told to identify lands along the riverbank, the official said.
Meanwhile, Bijnor divisional forest officer, Anil Kumar Patel, said: "We are running several programmes to develop the skills of those people residing near the riverbank. They are skilled in making baskets and mats from elephant grass, and the government has now decided to set up a craft market on the ghats to promote their produce."
Bijnor and its nearby areas are known for handicraft and traders will be encouraged to set up their stalls here, he said.
"Apart from this, Bijnor's Sherkot area is known for its brush industry while Nahtaur for handloom, Kiratpur for glass bottles and Nagina for handicraft. We'll provide all of them with shops in the craft market," he added.
Coordinator of west UP Namani Gange campaign, Dheer Singh, said that villagers who rely on the Ganga river will soon have an additional source of income without harming the environment.
The setting up of markets is also designed to discourage illegal farming on the river bed.
"Villagers sow vegetable seeds and grow wheat crops by using pesticides harmful for wildlife and aquatic species," the official added.
By providing them with alternate source of income, the state government also hopes to curb illegal fishing in Ganga, which flows through the Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.