Srinagar, Dec 2: Fearing that the government decision would increase “loot of forests”, Jammu and Kashmir (Non- Gazetted) employees association on Sunday demanded immediate rollback of the recent hike in the timber prices by the governor administration.
Mir Nazir, state president of J&K (Non- Gazetted) forest officers association (NGFOA), also threatened statewide protest if the order was not rolled back immediately.
“The authorities are trying to make the corporation financially strong on the shoulders of poor people. This happened first time in the history of forest department right from Maharaja rule,” Mir said.
“The hike in the rates will cost more risk to the forest employees (territorial). By this decision, the government has actually annoyed poor people who might resort to forest loot given that they need timber to build residential homes and may not afford to purchase it through the exorbitant and very high rates set by the government,” he told GNS, and demanded immediate revocation of the order.
He said that the task of distribution shall be resorted back to the forest department.
He said whenever there are forest fires, people living close to the forests rush to douse off the flames.
“The main reason for them to douse the flames is to ensure that forest cover is needed by them and the need includes the timber,” he said.
The people putting up in the forest areas have also voiced concern over the hike in the timber prices and have demanded its immediate rollback.
Expressing concern over it, the people said that if the order was not revoked, there were apprehensions of more timber smuggling due to “unprecedented” hike in the prices.
“We are poor people and cannot afford money to purchase the timer at such unprecedented hike. There are chances of more timber smuggling,” said Mohammad Sultan flanked by other residents of Kupwara district.
The new order was issued on November 22. The government till recently provided highly subsidized timber to people living near forests and villages to discourage smuggling. However, the rates of the timber have been increased several times. People used to get the quality Deodar timber at Rs 350 per cft that now is priced at Rs 1210 for Above Poverty Line (APL) people while for Below Poverty Line (BPL) it will be now more than double the cost – at Rs 712.
Similarly, the new rate for Kail timber is Rs 776 for APL and Rs 458 for BPL, while as Fir (Badlu) timber will be provided at the rate of Rs 403 and Rs 237 for BPL.
The people said the adverse weather in this Himalayan region has made the construction of houses a basic necessity, and hike the rates to such level was unbearable. The order must be revoked at the earliest, they demanded.
An official echoed the concern of the people and asked the government to relook into the order.
“Most of the people living in the vicinity of forests are backward and even middle-class people would not be able to bear the costs,” he said.
If PSA for stone pelting in Kashmir why not in Jammu: Sajad Lone
Jammu, Feb 18: Peoples’ Conference Chairman, Sajad Gani Lone on Monday said that intimidation and harassment of Kashmiri students, professionals and families living outside Kashmir was unacceptable and cannot be passed off as a purportedly natural outburst.
“These incidents are tantamount to trivializing the enormous sufferings and the pain suffered by the people of Kashmir over the period of the last three decades while their lives were engulfed by the scourge of violence and terror.
They have been at the receiving end of the devastation that comes with a prolonged conflict and they have borne the brunt. To attack them, single them out and harass them is shameful and those behind such mob-mentality and bullying should be dealt with in the strongest of terms”, Sajad Gani
Lone said today on arrival in Jammu where he is going to reach out to members of the community to ensure their safety and security.
“If stone pelting is wrong in Kashmir, it is equally wrong in Jammu and should attract the same legal and administrative response. What is wrong in Kashmir can’t be deemed acceptable and tolerable in Jammu. Law and Order is the subject of the State Administration and they need to ensure there is zero tolerance for these mobs in Jammu and those who are involved are arrested and persecuted”, Sajad Lone further added.
“All State Governments are duty bound to ensure the safety and security of all Kashmiri students, professionals and families residing in their respective States and no laxity should be tolerated in this matter. I have spoken to various State Government authorities and Police Authorities in various States and sought foolproof safety and security of Kashmiri students and families in those States”, the PC Chairman added.
Safe transit of stranded Kashmiris from Jammu our priority: Farooq
Jammu, Feb 18: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah who is personally overseeing the relief operation of the stranded Kashmiris in Jammu on the second consecutive day has maintained that safe transit of stranded Kashmiris from Jammu is our priority.
Dr Farooq Abdullah who has been personally overseeing the whole relief and rescue operation has ensured the safe transit of more than 2500 small and big vehicles to Kashmir over the past two days.
Pertinent to mention here that the party has geared up its provincial team of Jammu including party additional General Secretary Dr. Sheikh Mustufa Kamal and Provincial President Devender Singh Rana in its response to the exigencies following the incidents of arson and sporadic vioence in some parts of Jammu.
While addressing people at Mecca Masjid Dr Farooq Abdullah urged the stranded passengers there to have faith and believe in the age old traditions of brotherhood and bonhomie. He also applauded the efforts of local people and other communities who came forward to help the stranded Kashmiris. “I am moved by the compassion of various groups and communities who have come forward to the rescue of stranded Kashmiris. The efforts need to be replicated across all sections of the society; measures like these are befitting reply to those forces as are inclined to destroy our unity,” he said.
Meanwhile Dr Farooq under his vigil managed safe transit of stranded passengers including eighty students to Kashmir for the second consecutive day.
Dr Farooq maintained that he will be staying put at Jammu only unless the condition returns to normalcy. “I am personally watchful of the situation. We have put up a free community kitchen at Mecca Masjid to ensure that the needy and stranded people don’t have to face any problem in the wake of the tumultuous situation,” he said.
Party functionaries and senior leaders who are part of the relief operation include Ajaz Jan, Ratan Lal Gupta, Sheikh Bashir Ahmad, Mohammad Syed Akhoon and others.
CB books revenue officials, beneficiaries for grabbing 45 kanals of state land at Pahalgam
Srinagar, Feb 18: Crime Branch Kashmir today registered a case against revenue officials and the beneficiaries for illegal transferring state land at Pahalgam in favour of the latter.
According to an official communiqué, the Crime Branch Kashmir received a complaint from inhabitants of village Nunwan Pahalgam Anantnag.
The complaint inter-alia reveals that as per revenue records of the year 1978 (Bikrami) land measuring 45 Kanals & 19 Marlas under Survey No. 169 situated at village Nunwan Pahalgam was Khalsa Sarkar/state land. The land as per year 1990-91 (Bikrami) stands divided under various Nos. viz 196/169 (9.1 Kanals), 200/169(5.4 Kanals), 206/169(1.16 Kanals), 207/169(4.9 kanals), 208/169(8.2 Kanals), 220/169(3.11 Kanals),169 (6.7Kanals) and in the same Jamabandi the entries have been made in tenancy column in favour of tenants and possession holders, but in the same record piece of land under survey No. 169 was recorded as state land (Kabza Najaiz). It is alleged that in Jamabandi of the year 1969-70 few fictitious survey Nos 301/169(10.10 Kanals) 326/169 (3.7 Kanals) were made in favour of some non-locals namely Salam-Din & others R/O Khanabal Anantnag, and 301/169 (2 Kanals) in favour of Ab. Rehman R/O Kanelwan Bijbehara, by the revenue officials in connivance with the beneficiaries. The land has been illegally occupied by the said persons while as the land is state land measuring 38 Kanals as Shamilat U/S 5, and 6.7 Kanals are recorded as
“Goorvan”. Subsequently a preliminary enquiry under Reg.No.58/2011 was initiated at Police Station Crime Branch Kashmir. It came to fore that the land in question has been reflected as Khalsa Sarkar as per “Misle-Haqiyat” (record of rights) of the year 1978 (Bikrami). Subsequently the said land was converted to Shamilaat and then fraudulently in furtherance of criminal conspiracy by the revenue officers/officials and the beneficiaries and mutated in favour of Salam-Din R/O Khanabal Anantang, and Ab. Rehman R/O Kanelwan Bijbehara, U/S 4 & 8 of Agrarian Reforms Act, thereby misused their official position in order to render undue benefit upon beneficiaries.
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