The illegal felling of green Cedar (Deodar) and pine trees despite Supreme Court ban is fast depriving Jammu and Kashmir of its precious forest wealth. The state is losing its green sheen fast as the forest land has shrunk from 20,230 sq km to just 7,590 sq km as per data furnished by the state Department of Forests earlier this year.
Jammu and Kashmir State which is praised for its greenery and thick forest cover attract domestic and international tourists that generates multidimensional public sector employment among 69.7% un-employed youths in Jammu province and 29% un-employed youth in Kashmir province.
The Black Gold in shape of Black Cedar ( Deodar) which is available only in Bhaderwah range hills after Germany in the world , also helps to maintain ecological balance and rises ample revenue to the state treasury.
Let me elucidate that if we talk of 26293sq. Km area of Jammu province we will find that the bulk of such green forest falls in District Doda, particularly in Bhaderwah area under Chenab Circle Nerru Range. Forest in this area are filled with Chir,Kail,Deodar, Alpine Fir,(Abeispindrow), Uttilabetuls, Abeispindrow, Pineus Exelsia, Humis Pine Needles and special kinds of herbs and medicinal plants.
Located at a height of 6,500 feet, the Bhaderwah region of Doda district is a picturesque valley, with thick coniferous forests on all sides but illegal deforestation by timber mafia is depleting the forest cover. Famous for its snow peaks and lush green forests Jammu and Kashmir gets most of its revenue from forest wealth. But the green trees worth millions have been illegally chopped off in different compartments in Bhaderwah valley.
Recently when a media team along with social activists exposed illegal forest cutting in compartment No. 66 of Nerru range of forest Division Bhaderwah where more than 40 Cedar and Pine trees were swiped illegally without any permission in few days authorities turned a blind eye.
After collecting all kinds of proofs and taking photographs of this mass illegal cutting they approached SDM Bhaderwah and requested him to visit the spot where this illegal tree felling was done, SDM instead of calling police informed DFO Bhaderwah and they jointly went to examine the spot. After that DFO constituted departmental enquiry committee and axe fell on a poor guard who was made a scapegoat. High level officers actually involved in this heinous crime in nexus with smugglers tried to erase evidences
by burning the stems and also uprooting the stems from the ground level.
It is incumbent upon Govt to order a probe as more cases have been detected in forest block Duggi Kansar area in Bhaderwah valley where almost 200 young green Cedar and Pine trees have been cut illegally and both public and forest employees blame each other for it
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