Govt won’t allow encroachment of forests: Lal Singh

Minister reviews Forest Deptt’s functioning in Reasi district

RESAI, MARCH 23:  Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh today said the Government won’t compromise on encroachments, asserting that the violators would be dealt strictly under law.

The Minister said this during his tour to Reasi district of Jammu region, where he took stock of working of Forest department and its allied wings. The Minister directed officials to send formal notices to the stone crushers, brick kiln owners and cement factories who are yet to install scientific devices at their units to contain pollution. He also called upon officers to keep vigil on encroachments and dealt with the offenders under law.

The Minister also met several delegations of civil society members and listened to their grievances. He informed the gathering that department has taken strict measures to remove encroachment from the forests. In the process, he said, the Forest Department has retrieved 2903.65 hectares unrecorded/freshly encroached land across Jammu region and 205 hectares in Jammu city and its outskirts, in last 2 years.

The Minister said that Government is working on comprehensive policies for protection and preservation the forests and wildlife across the State. He said demarcation of the Forest and Wildlife land has been started across the State. He assured the people that strict action would be taken against the encroachers and poachers.

The Minister called for the greater participation of the civil society, especially womenfolk to act as motivators against poaching, encroachment of the forests. Singh also reviewed the functioning of Forest and its allied sectors in the district. The Minister stressed on improving the delivery mechanism in the department through innovative initiatives and asked the concerned officers to conduct frequent field visits to take stock of the functioning of the subordinate units.

The Minister said department has embarked on many new programmes, including establishment of hi-tech nurseries and upgradation of existing nurseries for production of quality planting stocks with a vision of raising 15 crore saplings annually.

The Minister was accompanied by SSP Reasi and heads of the various wings of the Forest Department.

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