Encroachments galore:Govt fails to demarcate forest land in Kashmir
Encroachment of over one lakh kanals of forests has failed to move the Jammu
and Kashmir government to demarcate woodland in the valley.
of Forest Department accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that 103705 kanals
of forest area is under encroachments in the valley.
An official of
Forest Department said half of forests in Kashmir are without demarcation.
government had decided to demarcate forest land in Kashmir. It was also decided
existing boundary pillars will be strengthened but nothing has been done so
far,” he said.
artificial demarcation of boundaries was done at few places. “Civilian
population is also residing in forest areas including Dachigam National Park,
posing a serious threat to its species,” the official said.
boundaries and lack of proper fencing has led to the habitat degradation as
cattle go on a grazing spree in the upper reaches of Dachigam.
non-demarcation of forests for the increase in wildfires. “Had the forests been
demarcated, less fire incidents would have happened,” the official said.
reveals that more than 55, 000 kanals of forest area have been destroyed in 859
wildfire incidents in Kashmir for the last five years.
that highest number of incidents were reported during 2016- 2017, when 371
fire-incidents damaged 30202 kanals of forest land. This was followed by 192
wildfires engulfing 13,699 kanals of land during 2017-2018. 121 forest fires
wreaked havoc on 4171 kanals of land during 2015- 2016.
wildfires occurred in 2014-2015 which destroyed 3984 kanals of land. The most
affected areas include Lidder and Kamraj where 227 and 121 forest fires
panel headed by former legislator MY Tarigami had asked Jammu and Kashmir
government to demarcate forest lands to stop encroachments and adopt
appropriate mechanisms to check the pollution from brick kilns.
The committee had
suggested that the Forest Department must take all necessary steps to demarcate
the entire forest land to avoid day-to-day encroachment efforts by unscrupulous
elements for their ulterior motives.
and Environment Manoj Kumar Dwivedi said government has taken up several
measures to conserve forest wealth.
“Vulnerable areas in forests are being demarcated on priority basis. It
requires a large funding for demarcation of entire forest land,” he said.