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    JammuNorthlines Impact: Forest Officials wake up after media exposure of Unauthorized Deforestation

    Northlines Impact: Forest Officials wake up after media exposure of Unauthorized Deforestation

    Date:

    Ajay Sharma

    Reasi, July 8

    In a notable development, forest officials, including the block officer, arrived on the scene in Pouni following the publication of a news story in daily Northlines that brought to light unauthorized deforestation activities.

    The incident, occurring in Village Sudeen, Panchayat Kothien, Taseel Pouni, and district Reasi, involved the illegal use of a JCP machine to cut down trees in the forest area.

    According to sources, the block officer had received geo-tagged of the deforestation activities on the same day of occurrence. However, it wasn't until the story was published in the newspaper that action was visibly taken, with the staff promptly reaching the location.

    “The beat guard, a resident of the area, was aware of the identity of the machine's owner and had attempted to mitigate the situation by hastily removing the machine before senior officials could be alerted,” said sources, adding that this was reportedly not the first instance of such activities; a similar event had occurred about a month and a half ago, where the beat guard had again intervened to stop the machine's operations.

    Despite the block officer's claims that they had previously halted the work, recent photographs showed that the drainage system created by the machine had been fully closed.

    “The implication is that both the block officer and the beat guard were aware of the ongoing activities and possibly complicit,” said sources, adding that the news story raised questions about the accountability and response of higher authorities.

    Although there are claims of pressure on the block officer, the lack of immediate action by senior officials, including the DFO, Conservatory officers, and the Chief Forest Conservator, remains concerning.

    “It appears that this issue has persisted over several years, with unauthorized activities being temporarily halted and then allowed to continue without exemplary penalties,” said sources.

    Meanwhile, senior officers of the forest department have assured proper action.

    Locals have requested the intervention of higher authorities, including additional chief secretary and the principal secretary of the forest department.

     

    Northlines
    Northlines
    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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