Works Minister cautions against encroachments, soil cutting, destruction of Karewas

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Srinagar—Calling for whole hearted efforts to save unique geographical formations in Kashmir, Minister for public works Naeem Akhtar today said that government will take stringent steps against people involved in cutting of soil and encroachments around roads in the state.

The Minister directed the officials to take strict action against people involved in illegal activities of damaging environment and geography particularly around the roads.

The expressed his anguish at the destruction of Karewas at many places around the roads. He said that safety of these land forms will be responsibility of the concerned engineers and employees. “Karewas are our treasures. We owe responsibility of their safekeeping for our future generations,” the Minister said. “Karewas have millions of years of history buried in them and scientists are yet completely decipher them. Their study will give us new insights into palaeontology and ancient civilisation that thrived in Kashmir. But if they are destroyed we will lose this knowledge forever.”

The Minister said that Karewas are in reality world heritage gifted to Kashmir and we have to safeguard them at any cost. The Minister warned the people not to lay hands on the precious karewas. He said that department will be using latest satellite imagery to determine if people have encroached or destroyed the landscape around the roads. He directed the officials to use decades old historical satellite images available online and compare it with the present status to determine if anybody has violated the law at any location in the state. He asked the officials to especially concentrate their efforts in Budgam and other karewa rich areas.

The Minister called on the Chief Engineer R&B and other officials to strictly implement the J&K Ribbon Development Act which prohibits encroachments and empowers the department to demolish such structures.

 

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