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Lal Singh asks DFOs to go tough on encroachments

JAMMU, OCTOBER 09-Emphasizing the need to protect state’s forest wealth from encroachment, Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment Choudhary Lal Singh today directed the officers of the forest department to ensure that demarcation of forest land is done in a transparent manner so that encroachment can be curbed at all levels.

The Minister was speaking at a high-level meeting held to review the progress of demarcation of forest land after inaugurating 3-day training programme for field staff (TPFS) on demarcation of forests at Forest Information Centre in Gandhi Nagar, here today.

Chairman Pollution Control Board Ravi Kessar, Chief Wildlife Warden Suresh Chugh, Director Social Forestry Arun Kumar Tikoo, Managing Director State Forest Corporation Suresh Gupta, Director SFRI B M Sharma besides Conservators, Divisional Forest Officers Territorial and Soil Conservation, Rangers, Foresters and Guards were present on the occasion.

Choudhary Lal Singh directed the officers for preparation of log books of each forest compartment for the knowledge of general public and the department as well. He asked for display of sign boards on Forest land so that the land grabbers don’t dare to encroach state’s green wealth. He cautioned the officers of any laxity on their part in dealing with the encroachers.

Stating that encroachment will not be tolerated at any cost, the Minister called for formulation of a proper demarcation plan with greater vigil, proper fencing methodology and involvement of locals. He also called for undertaking computerization of forest land records so that proper upkeep of the available resources is ensured.

The Minister stressed upon the officers to perform their duty with a missionary zeal for protecting the forest cover with focus on vulnerable areas. He directed the DFOs Territorial to personally monitor the fencing of forest land to check encroachment. He stressed on the need to generate mass awareness regarding the measures for safeguarding the forest wealth and prevent illicit felling of trees.

The Minister reiterated the commitment of the Government to plant trees along the National Highway from Lakhanpur to Kashmir valley adding that massive plantation will be carried out in with shall act as an effective mechanism to recharge the natural water bodies for conserving the forests and maintaining the ground water level.

He also asked industrialists to install pollution control devices in their industrial units to minimize the pollution and plant at least 1000 plants in and around their industrial units to minimize damages caused by the industries to the environment.

The Minister directed the officers to remain vigilant to prevent the incidents of forest fire.

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