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1.35 lakh kanals forest land retrieved from land grabbers in 2016-17: Govt

Kathua, MAR 13: Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment Choudhary Lal Singh today asked the Divisional Forest Officers to prepare log books of un-demarcated forest compartments and also display sign boards on forest land so that the land grabbers refrain from encroaching state’s green wealth.
This was stated by the Minister while interacting with officers at a public grievances redressal camp at Basholi, here today.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Ravi Kesar, Chairman State Pollution Control Board B Siddhartha Kumar, Commissioner/Secretary Forests, Ecology and Environment Sourabh Bhagat Director SFRI B M Sharma, Chief Conservator of Forests Farooq Gillani, Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Gupta, Conservator East Circle Kh Qamar-ud-Din, Assistant Commissioner Development Rajiv Khajuria besides other senior officers of Forests and its allied wings were present on the occasion.
Choudhary Lal Singh directed the officers to provide training to all the frontline field staff for demarcation of un-demarcated forest land in a transparent and judicious manner across the State. He informed that the Government has retrieved around 1.35 lakh kanals forest land in 2016-17 for restoration of state’s forest cover.
Emphasizing the need to protect state’s forest wealth from land grabbers, the Minister directed the officers of the department to ensure proper demarcation of the forest land in a transparent manner so that encroachment can be curbed at all levels.
The Minister asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to constitute committee for monitoring the demarcation process by frontline staff across the State and take all necessary steps to demarcate the entire forest land to avoid day-to-day encroachment.
The Minister asked the DFOs to submit the area wise detail of the forest land within a week’s time to the department so that the spaces can be demarcated under Forest Demarcation Map and called for formulation of proper demarcation plan with greater vigil, proper fencing methodology and involvement of locals.
Earlier, during the public grievances redressal camp, several deputations met the Minister and projected the development related problems of their respective areas.
Choudhary Lal Singh asserted that three regions of the State have witnessed massive development in all spheres during the current regime and that the government is duty bound to provide all basic amenities to the people of the state.
He said Government has taken several concrete measures to create durable infrastructure to upgrade the living standard of the people. He said government is committed to provide all basic amenities including road connectivity, education, health, drinking water and better lanes and drains in every area of the State.
The Minister said that Government is fully aware of people’s development related problems, adding that in this regard a new master plan has been prepared to meet all developmental needs particularly in far-off areas of the State.