State

DM Pulwama surprised over felling of thousands of trees in Sangerwani Forest; High level Enquiry recommended against DFO

PULWAMA : In view of complaints being received by the District Magistrate Pulwama regarding the illegal green felling and plundering of forest vegetation cover in the Sangerwani forest ,a field visit deep inside the forest was conducted by DM Pulwama on Wednesday.

During the field visit to Namblan and Anderwali forest blocks of Sangerwani forest belt massive felling of restricted species was found on spot thus corresponding the complaints being made by locals to the District Adminstration.

The team led by DM trekked almost a total of 30 Kms deep inside the forest area to get an insight of such Illegal activities being carried out by forest mafia and timber smugglers.

The locals of the area had been regularly complaining to DM regarding the connivance of local forest staff resulting into the depletion of green cover.

Tehsildar Rajpora with his revenue staff , a team of NIC Pulwama accompanied the DM during the trek along with parties of police , CRPF and army to provide cover.

For the first time District Adminstation pulwama also made use of drone to have an aerial view of the damaged area and get the assessment done.

It is worthwhile to mention that District Adminstation has procured a hi-tech drone necessary to keep a check on Illegal Mining and other activities .

It will also help in better land use planning and reconciliation of cedestral maps with revenue records.The drone will also help the Adminstration in future to identify large chunks of vacant land for kick-starting new developmental projects.

During the day long trek , DM was astonished over the illegal felling of trees in the area with all impunity.

Some of the locals also informed the DM that no forest Official has ever visited the area to curb such activities.The locals alleged that an enquiry needs to be conducted how the transportation of logs is being allowed when there are so many forest checkpoints enroute.

The DM has been continuously getting complaints that forest staff deployed in the forest blocks and compartments being the locals of the area have managed to remain posted in the forest since decades and as such consequences are for everyone to see.

Apart from Namblam and Gaddar blocks , similar reckless cutting of trees have also been found in Kehrut block of Sangerwani.

The team of District Adminstration led by DM started the foot trek in the morning from
Anderwali to Kandipatheri then crossing over Romushi Nala , Namblan , Gaddar and finally to Inderkhul which is a deep forest Area.

The NIC team members conducted the drone surveillance exercise which was monitored by DM.During the trek ,DM interacted with various Gujjar and Bakerwal Community members which were commig from Rajouri and were on their way to Kangan.

The locals and the nomadic population of District residing in Dokas in the area and enroute raised their greviances with the DM.

The District Adminstration was also mesmerized to see the beauty of the area which includes meadows , fresh water streams full of bountiful nature.

Some of the locals who accompanied the DM for sharing of information and planning the logistics for the trek also informed the DM that already a survey of 28 Kms of road from Angerwali upto Dobjan on Mughal road through this forest trek road by R& B which needs to be followed so that the area can be developed as a Tourist Circuit.

In view of the illegal felling of trees that was corroborated on ground, the DM informed that the recommendations for departmental proceedings and a high level enquiry against the DFO Shopain under whose jurisdiction the forest belt falls is being sent to the Government along with all recorded photographic and videographic evidences of natural resources being plundered in the area.

He also stressed that if warranted , Public safety act should be slabbed on forest mafia, timber smugglers and also on the forest employees if found involved in the illegal activity.

DM added forest smugglers were also trying to take undue advantage of lockdown amidst pandemic as the whole adminstrative machinery has been focusing in the containment of COVID-19 .

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