Kashmir: Illegal deforestation in Jammu and Kashmir happening at an alarming rate

Illegal deforestation in the dense green patch of district Doda in
Jammu and Kashmir, is going on at an alarming speed. Sources reveal
that the District Forest Protection Force is not active enough.

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The field staff and of course the armed protectors ‘Forest Protection
Force’ are mute spectators to the green felling as well as timber
smuggling. Few days back, on a specific information, Forest Protection
Force seized 86 scants of deodar from Gondoh, which has not only
earned appreciation from the public but also from the higher
authorities. But at the same time, many eyebrows are raised about the
working of Forest Protection Force in the entire district.

Despite the ongoing timber smuggling, the district head quarter with field staff is just sitting like a mute spectator. Though stories about the green felling, timber smuggling and forest land encroachments have been the regular feature of local as well as regional and national print and electronic media but till date no action has been taken by the authorities concerned.

Thousands of kanals of forest land is being encroached year after year, which is not only used to raise crops but at many compartments people have gone to the extent of raising fruit plant orchids. There is another wing of DPAP under the name of Watershed Development Project, which has been providing lacs of fruit plants to the rural populace with out enquiring about the land owned by the beneficiaries.

It has been reported by the inhabitants of Dessa area through Mohd Hanif Kumhar, resident of village Saras Dessa, that inhabitants residing in Compartments no 34, 35 and 42 falling in Siraj range have encroached thousands of kanals of forest land and at many places people have raised orchids.

He alleged that the inhabitants of the area have made complaints many a times to the Range Officer concerned, DFO and Conservator Chinab Circle Doda but no action has been taken or forest land restored to forest.

There are also reports of large scale green felling and encroachment of forest land in some of the compartments of Marmat range of Forest Division Batote, where people are at will after providing wine and poultry birds to the forest guards and officers.

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