'50.94 hectares of forest-land encroached by 217 persons at tourist resorts'

Srinagar: Minister of Forests, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh on Monday said 217 encroachers have grabbed 50.94 hectares of forest land at different tourist resorts in Jammu and Kashmir.

Furnishing the list of encroachers in response to a question by Ranbir Singh Pathania, the Minister also said that 4589.66 hectares encroached land has been retrieved from the encroachers during the current year.

Asserting that the department has been geared up to end this menace, the Minister said eviction of encroachments is being linked to the performance assessment of the officers.

Listing the measures to contain deforestation, the Minister informed the house that licenses have been granted/renewed only for sawmills that satisfy the norms prescribed under J&K Wood Based Registration & Regulation Rules.

“The department has seized 18 saw mills during last three years that were violating the rule,” he added.

The Minister also said that all premature transfers in the department have been done in the interest of administration with the approval of the competent authority as per GAD circular.

The Minister also informed the house that the state has 2023,000 sq Kms of forest land.

Regarding the measures taken to check the monkey nuisance in the state, the Minister said the Department has appealed to the public not to feed monkeys particularly on the road side, temple complexes and other public places.

“Trapping of monkeys & their translocation to some other areas has also been taken in many cases in the department. The awareness camps are being organized to make general public aware about do's and don'ts,” he added.

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