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    Jammu KashmirSVC blames Govt for 'encouraging' forest land encroachment

    SVC blames Govt for ‘encouraging’ forest land encroachment

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    SVC blames Govt for ‘encouraging' forest land encroachment

    NL Correspondent

    SRINAGAR: The State Vigilance Commission (SVC) has claimed that lack of coordination between the Forest and Revenue department has “encouraged” people to encroach upon the forest land.

    In its recent report, the SVC said, “While dealing with the complaints related to alleged encroachment of forest land, it was observed that lack of coordination between the Forest and Revenue department has encouraged people to encroach upon the forest land.”

    The report says that at most of the places the forest land has not been demarcated due to lack of coordination between these two departments.

    The recorded forest area is 20230 sq. kms, which constitutes 19.95 % of geographical area of the state. However, 240580 kanals of forest land are under encroachment of which 68080 kanals fall in valley and around 172500 in region, the Forest department data reveals.

    Official sources said, in 1947 the total forest area in J&K was 26,900 sq. kms which has now been reduced to less than 18,000 sq kms.

    Government in 2011 approved the Forest Policy for J&K aimed to preserve the forests and retrieve the land from encroachers, but there is no visible change on the ground.

    As per the Policy, the government will retrieve forest land from encroachers and will upgrade and maintenance of demarcation records in digital format on GIS using remote sensing .

    For effective protection of forest land, government in the Forest Policy has mentioned that land records of Revenue department will be reconciled with demarcation record of Forest department in a time bound manner starting with highly vulnerable areas. “Existing boundary pillars will be strengthened and their locations will be recorded using global positioning system and other modern technologies,” it said.

    But official sources said no efforts have been made in this regard and demarcation of forest land is yet to be done.

    JK Minister for Forests, Sh. Lal Singh expressed his ignorance that SVC had blamed Forest and Revenue department for encouraging people to encroach upon the forest land. “We are committed to retrieve forest land from encroachers and ensure there is proper implementation of the Forest Policy in the state,” Lal Singh said.

    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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