Wildlife In Dachigam On Verge Of Disaster Due To Wrong-Policies Of Govt

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SRINAGAR — The wildlife at Dachigam National Park is on the verge of disaster due to the wrong polices of authorities.

Sources told KNS that Jammu and Kashmir government, Wild Life department and other concerned departments were issu­ing mining lease rights in favour of various cement factories which has huge impact on the wild life at the Dachigam Park. “At Nagendar Sat Pakhran and Bajnari, the au­thorities are trying to give clear­ance for mining lease in favour of some cement factories in violation of the norms. If the clearance is granted, it will be a disaster for the wild life habitat in the vicinity as Nagendar Sat Pakhran and Bajnari are in close vicinity of Dachigam Park,” they said.

Sources also revealed that the Wild Life department officers were issuing necessary permissions in favour of cement factory owners in violation of norms. “The offi­cers charge huge amount of money from the cement factory owners by showing their units undervalue at the time of issuing no-objection-certificates,” they said.

According to the norms, any fac­tory which has to be established in eco-sensitive zone has to pay five percent of the total project cost or as assessed by the assessing authority for the conservation of bio-diversi­ty and environment management plan. “However, at the time of the registration of the Cement facto­ries, the owners in league with the Wild Life department officers intentionally produce undervalue project reports to get the clearance. This way the government is losing crores of rupees which should have been spent for the conservation of wild life,” they said.

Sources said in some cases even no money has been charged from the cement factory owners for granting Wild Life clearance. “There seems a close nexus between cement factory owners, pollution control board, forest department and wildlife department officers as rules are being flouted to benefit the factory owners at the cost of govern­ment exchequer,” they said.

The environmental manage­ment plans describe how any fac­tory might impact on the natural environment and set out clear com­mitments from the owners taking the action on how those impacts will be avoided, minimized and managed so that they are environ­mentally acceptable.

A senior official of the Wild Life department wishing anonym­ity said among the existing six cement factories in Khrew and three in Khunmoh, most have up­graded their units without getting the necessary clearance from the concerned authorities. “Mining, which is considered as an ecological disaster, is being carried out close to Dachigam National Park. No money is being charged by the de­partment for mining which clearly shows that the authorities are giv­ing a free hand to the factory own­ers at the cost of wild life,” he said.

Demanding a thorough probe by Vigilance Organisation in the mat­ter, the official said, “At least in future the government should not allow the existing system to continue. I hope the Advisor to the Governor will take strong note of this and not allow the department to issue clearance for any cement project which submits under value project reports.” (KNS)

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