‘All Previous Timber Sanctions Stand Cancelled’

Srinagar: The tall claims of the J&K government about the online system adaptation for the sale of timber seems a distant dream as the timber supplies are pending for years.

Pertinently, the Forest department supplies timber to the concessionists falls in A, B and C zones including Municipal Council and Municipal Committee areas.

Earlier in 2105, the then Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Bali Bhagat while replying to a question by Sofi Yousuf in Legislative Council of J&K Assembly had said in far-flung areas timber is supplied to needy people directly through Notices of Forest department. “Besides, Jammu and Kashmir State Forest Corporation (SFC) also supplies timber to sale depots falling in ‘C’ zone areas.”

He also claims that the online system is to be adopted for sale of timber in the state, so that people get the requisite sanctioned within the shortest possible time.

However, the timber applicants allege that they have applied years before for the timber which has not been provided, so far. “I have applied for the 50 sfts of timber for the construction of house five years back. Since then, I am being told the stock is not available,” said Abdul Rasheed Yatoo of Hayan Kangan.

The irony is that the State Forest Corporation and forest department are passing the responsibilities on each other. On one hand, SFC which is now responsible for the timber supplies allegedly claim that the forest department has to provide the stock to them then only they can provide supply.

On the other hand, forest department says it is the SFC which has to provide the supply to the people. In between, it is the common people who are facing the brunt.

Abdul Salam Najar of Ganderbal said that he applied for the requisite timber of 100 sfts two years back. “Since then I am wandering between forest department and SFC. The both government machineries are not shouldering the responsibility on pretext of one thing or the other. It is the common masses who suffer.”

While talking to a local news gathering agency, Minister of State (MoS) Forest, Zahoor Ahmad Mir said, “all previous sanctions stand cancelled.”

“All those who need timber should go to SFC to avail the requisite supply,” he said. He added that “due to the current unrest in valley, the supply of timber stuck, and target of the department remained incomplete”. However, he assured the complaints of people, if any would be addressed.



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