16,875 acres of forest land retrieved from land grabbers in 2016-17: Lal Singh
Jammu, Feb 18: Over 16,500 acres of forest land was retrieved from land grabbers in 2016-17, Jammu and Kashmir Forest minister Choudhary Lal Singh has said, directing for proper demarcation of the land to curb encroachments. “The government has retrieved around 1.35 lakh kanals (16,875 acres) encroached forest land from the land grabbers in 2016-17 for restoration of states forest cover,” the minister said. Singh while interacted with officers of the department and its allied wings at Forest Information Centre here called for formulation of proper demarcation plan with greater vigil, proper fencing methodology and involvement of locals. Emphasising the need to protect state’s forest wealth from land grabbers, the minister directed the officers of the department to ensure that proper demarcation of forest land is done in a transparent manner so that encroachment can be curbed at all levels. He asked the divisional forest officers to submit the area wise detail of the forest land within a weeks time to the department so that the spaces can be used for forest closures and construction of departmental buildings, including check posts and offices. The State Forest Research Institute has established five model nurseries with a capacity of raising 50 lakh plants of ornamental, medicinal and fruits, Singh said.