BREAKING NEWS

10-17-2019     3 رجب 1440

Forest Mafia

July 10, 2019 |

After starting the cleansing process in J&K Bank, Governor Satya Pal Malik’s administration has seemingly turned eyes at the rampant corruption in the state’s forest department. Speaking at a function in Srinagar to kickstart a mega plantation drive in the state, Governor Malik said that those people who were meant for protecting the forests have earned millions while the state has lost its precious green cover, posing a threat to our fragile environment. According to official data, Jammu and Kashmir has a total forest cover of 20230 sq km (20.23 lakh hectares) which makes up 19.95% of the total geographical area of 101387 sq km on this side of the Line of Control. The previous state government is on record to have admitted that the forest cover is shrinking with over 12,000 hectares of demarcated forest land under encroachment of various persons, including a minister and some influential persons and hoteliers. Another 11,924 hectares have been diverted to other state departments, sometimes without following the due procedures, for non-forestry purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act. This has caused significant reduction of forest cover, especially in Kashmir Valley. But the most important cause of shrinking forest cover is perhaps the connivance of the ‘big fish’, top forest officers and moneyed people, including politicians, who have formed a kind of gang to smuggle the timber from forest of the state which is then sold and bought in a vicious circle. The eruption of insurgency in Kashmir during early nineties witnessed an ecological anarchy. As the state government lost grip of the situation, timber smugglers used money to buy the government machinery while working under the patronage of the politicians to loot the forests. Sadly, even the security forces are not without their share of blame. Media has carried extensive reports about how pine and deodar trees have been felled by forces with some of their personnel accused of being involved in timber smuggling. This hasn’t caught attention of successive governments in the state because the line of suspects will perhaps end at the highest level. Governor Malik is right when he says that people meant for taking care of forests have made millions. It would require just a small survey of the forest department officers to see how they have benefitted in these years of turmoil. Governor’s cleansing drive at J&K Bank has restored confidence of people in the administration. The drive must now expand to include the forest department so that the culprits are held accountable.

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Forest Mafia

July 10, 2019 |

After starting the cleansing process in J&K Bank, Governor Satya Pal Malik’s administration has seemingly turned eyes at the rampant corruption in the state’s forest department. Speaking at a function in Srinagar to kickstart a mega plantation drive in the state, Governor Malik said that those people who were meant for protecting the forests have earned millions while the state has lost its precious green cover, posing a threat to our fragile environment. According to official data, Jammu and Kashmir has a total forest cover of 20230 sq km (20.23 lakh hectares) which makes up 19.95% of the total geographical area of 101387 sq km on this side of the Line of Control. The previous state government is on record to have admitted that the forest cover is shrinking with over 12,000 hectares of demarcated forest land under encroachment of various persons, including a minister and some influential persons and hoteliers. Another 11,924 hectares have been diverted to other state departments, sometimes without following the due procedures, for non-forestry purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act. This has caused significant reduction of forest cover, especially in Kashmir Valley. But the most important cause of shrinking forest cover is perhaps the connivance of the ‘big fish’, top forest officers and moneyed people, including politicians, who have formed a kind of gang to smuggle the timber from forest of the state which is then sold and bought in a vicious circle. The eruption of insurgency in Kashmir during early nineties witnessed an ecological anarchy. As the state government lost grip of the situation, timber smugglers used money to buy the government machinery while working under the patronage of the politicians to loot the forests. Sadly, even the security forces are not without their share of blame. Media has carried extensive reports about how pine and deodar trees have been felled by forces with some of their personnel accused of being involved in timber smuggling. This hasn’t caught attention of successive governments in the state because the line of suspects will perhaps end at the highest level. Governor Malik is right when he says that people meant for taking care of forests have made millions. It would require just a small survey of the forest department officers to see how they have benefitted in these years of turmoil. Governor’s cleansing drive at J&K Bank has restored confidence of people in the administration. The drive must now expand to include the forest department so that the culprits are held accountable.


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.