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Forest clearances for different roads will be taken up on priority – Bali Bhagat

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BHADERWAH, MAY 03 – Minister for Forest, Social Welfare, Ecology and Environment Mr. Bali Bhagat during his intensive tour of  Districts Doda and Kishtwar met the people at Sarthal and Bhaderwah to take stock of their problems.

During his visit to the Sarthal area Minister was accompanied by the Conservator of Forest Chenab circle, M.P Dogra, DFO Kishtwar Anup Saini, DFO Marwah K. Anand and Deputy Director FPF among others.

Deputations of people of Sarthal interacted with the minister and raised various issues including demarcation of Sarthal Forest land, Water scarcity, Road restoration works and damages to the infrastructure, life and property due to recent rains and floods to which minister gave patient hearing and gave on spot instructions to the concerned authorities to redress the problems on priority. Damage to the protection wall of the Sarthal Devi Temple Complex was personally inspected by the Minister and issued directions for its immediate repairs.

Responding to the demand of the demarcation and eviction of encroachers from the Sarthal forest land  Mr. Bhagat said that retrieving back the encroached land is the mission of the Government and directed Conservator of Forest Chenab circle to ensure the demarcation of forest land besides asked him to start the process of the evictions as per Forest Act.

An album on pilgrim tourism titled “JAMMU AMONG THE GODS” about the various religious places of the state authored by Narinder Pandit was also released by the Minister at Sarthal. Mr Bali Bhagat expressed pleasure over its release and said such books bring local religious places at the pilgrimage tourism map and generate new economic avenues for the people.

Later on Minister toured the Bhaderwah area of Doda District where he was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Doda Mr. Bhupinder Kumar, SSP Doda Mr. Z.N Manhas, DFO Bhaderwah, Mr. T.B Singh, DFO Doda Mr Abhijit Joshi, Deputy Director FPF Mr. Ravinder Billoria among other officers of District Administration Doda.

In a public meeting at Bhaderwah Mr. Bali Bhagat assured that pending forest clearances for different roads will be taken up on priority. Recalling the hardships faced by pensioners while submitting the formalities viz. Income certificate, Death certificate and medical certificate for claiming the benefits under various social welfare schemes, Mr. Bali Bhagat announced that the procedure and formalities have been simplified for the convenience of unprivileged section of society. For meeting the supply of huge demand of timber, Minister announced the establishment of additional forest depots at Manthala, Bheja and other areas of the Bhaderwah from where demands are pouring in. Reiterating the commitment of the government in retrieving back the encroached forest land he said that the forest department has fixed a target of retrieving 5000 hectares by march 2016 besides directions have been conveyed  to the officers to check the smuggling of the timber in the area, he added. To generate more revenue by the forest department collection centres for minor forest produce, establishment of furniture/forest industry etc are in offing, Minister further added.

Earlier  MLA Bhaderwah Mr. Daleep Singh Parihar apprised the minister about various demands of the people including  the construction of Jai- Gandoh road, Chattar galla road, restoration of Doda-Bhaderwah road, pending  land compensation of various roads, sanitation, streamlining of education system etc to which Minister gave patient hearing and assured to redress them.

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