From Samba To Amargarh, Pvt Company Plunders Forests

RTI Movement Demands Judicial Probe

SRINAGAR — Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement has demanded a judicial  probe by a sitting High Court Judge into axing and uprooting of thousands of forest trees by a private Transmission Company which is executing work on Jallandhar – Samba –Amargrah 440 KV DC transmission line.

In a statement issued here ,Chairman of RTI Movement Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat said that forest wealth from Baramulla to Samba via Pir Panchaal forests is being plundered under the garb of development.  

“ Employees of transmission company Sterlite , NRSS 29 , Forest Department & State Forest Corporation (SFC) need to be questioned  as more than 400 forest trees (Kail) have been cut down and uprooted  in Laden and Buzgoo villages  of Budgam district only under the garb of laying 440 KV transmission line. Out of the 400 trees our sources have revealed that more than 200 trees are missing in Laden and Buzgoo villages  only. JCB’s are used to uproot the stumps, so as to destroy the evidence. Huge damage has been caused in Pakherpora , Kanidajan , Darwan villages as well plus areas in Shopian and Kellar. We want a high level inquiry to be conducted by a sitting Judge of J&K High Court   “ said Dr Raja Muzaffar

In addition to it forest axing of trees, the company has uprooted and axed thousands of fruit trees as well. There is no clarity how many trees were to be felled in Forests and villages  ? The employees of power company and officials of Forest , Horticulture and Revenue are in hand and glove to destroy our green wealth . Our environment is under threat , we appeal Governor , his advisors Khusrhid Ahmad Ganai, K Vijay Kumar , Chief Secretary and Principal CCF JK Forests to initiate a Judicial Probe into this issue which has caused huge loss to our environment and forests     

Trees have been axed from Baramulla to Rajouri. The transmission line of the NRSS -29  passes through 11 districts of state including Budgam , Shopian ,Poonch and Rajouri. In Laden and Buzgoo villages alone more than 400 trees have been axed. Local  Forest Officers have not made the actual assessment of damages caused to Forests. The State Forest Corporation (SFC) which as per sources is undertaking the felling of tress has even failed to recover the actual compensation in many Forest blocks . This has not only caused damage to environment but has caused a loot to state exchequer as well  

Private Transmission company M/S Sterlite , NRSS 29 and  M/S Unitech  are executing the transmission line project from last 4 years. 

Affected villagers and farmers in many villages allege that majority of the affected farmers are not paid compensation at all while as their land has been turned useless whose commercial value is at stake now.  Local residents in Budgam allege that  the payment of fair compensation is made only to blue eyed people. Sources say that at many places the line passes over agricultural / horticulture land but no compensation has been paid as the commercial and agricultural value of land has come down drastically.

Advisor cncerned over illegal felling of forest trees

Advisor to the Governor, Mr. Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, has expressed serious concern over the unauthorized felling of forest trees in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district and parts of Budgam district, as reported by a section of media recently.

Calling for a crackdown on those who damage the green reserves, the Advisor directed the District Magistrates and SSPs of Baramulla and Budgam to take stringent action against those involved in illegal felling of trees in the protected forest divisions of the two districts.

Ganai said there is a need to fortify all forest divisions and increase watch and ward and general vigil to safeguard our forest wealth and to prevent timber smugglers from damaging our green gold. He directed the DCs of Baramulla and Budgam to enquire into all the incidents of illegal felling in forest areas and take strict action including against officials if found involved in abetting smuggling of timber.


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