Vikas Sharma. Dated: 10/1/2018 10:36:21 AM

VIKAS SHARMA Jammu, Sep 30 In order to retrieve the forest land from the encroachers, the government has finally decided to tighten its noose around the encroachers. As per the records, there is 15,216.44 hectares of the encroached forest land is in the Jammu region and 5,264.96 hectares are in the Kashmir region. The department, however, claimed that it had removed the encroachments from 4,732.44 hectares, of which 4,162.52 hectares were in the Jammu region and 569.92 hectares in the Kashmir valley. In order to retrieve more lands, the government has stressed its officials on adopting zero tolerance towards forest land encroachment and dereliction in duty on behalf of field staff. The government has further directed the DFOs to remain vigilant in their respective jurisdiction and keep close liaison with their counterparts in District Administration. He asserted that the issue of Forest land diversion shall be dealt as per Law and no agency shall be allowed to execute work without accord of Government sanction. In the order issues, the government said that the DFOs will expedite all FCA cases as soon as possible with close cooperation of user agencies. He asked the department to constitute the Village level Forest Committees (VFCs) for protection of forests. In this regard, the government today ordered constitution of an official panel to inquire into the allegations of the encroachment of forest land. The Jammu and Kashmir General Administration Department (GAD) formed a committee to inquire into the allegations of illegal encroachment of forest land in Rajouri and Udhampur districts. In an order issued by GAD Commissioner-Secretary Hilal Ahmad, the fivemember committee would be headed by the Jammu additional commissioner. The chairman is authorized to co-opt any other member for assistance. The committee will inquire into the complaint of encroachment of forest land under Khasra No. 653 Min situated at village Ramnagar, Tehsil Kotranka, District Rajouri. Additional Commissioner, Jammu will be the Chairman of the Committee, whereas Additional Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Conservator of Forests, West Circle Rajouri, Senior Superintendent of Police, Rajouri and one DFO to be nominated by CCF, Jammu will be its members. Chairman of the committee is authorized to co-opt any other member for the assistance of the committee. The committee shall submit its report/findings to the government within two months.


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