Issuing strict warning to the forest land grabbers and timber smugglers across the State, Minister for Forest, Environment & Ecology and Social Welfare, Bali Bhagat Saturday said that Government will deal with the elements involved in such unscrupulous acts sternly to save the State’s natural resources.
Addressing public meetings in Raipur-Domana constituency, Baghat said that a huge chunk of forest land is in the possession of land grabbers across the State and Government has launched a massive campaign to get it vacated. He said concerned officers in the Department have been given categorical instructions and a free hand to retrieve the encroached land in a time bound manner, adding that any negligence on the part of the officers will be viewed seriously and same will be reflected in their Annual Performance Reports (APRs). He, at the same time maintained that the good work of the officers will be duly acknowledged and Government will reward them suitably.
According to spokesman, Baghat said that the reports of timber smugglings pouring in from different quarters have also been viewed seriously by the Government and the authorities have been directed to maintain a close vigil on the activities of the timber smugglers to check the theft of green gold, the Minister asserted.
Maintaining that the PDP-BJP regime is committed to provide transparent and accountable governance, the Minister said that the people have voted the new dispensation for a change and it will make utmost effort to fulfil their expectations. He said the Government has formulated a well-knit strategy to strengthen the existing facilities with special focus on improving the road connectivity, electricity, education, health services and drinking water.
Bhagat said that the Government will implement all welfare schemes meant for the poor sections of the society so that their benefits reach out to the needy on the ground. He said instructions have been passed on to the Social Welfare Department to clear the pendency of pension cases for which the funds have been arranged. He said the formalities for the pensions have been simplified and Department will facilitate the beneficiaries by organizing special camps at the block level. The beneficiaries need not to approach the Social Welfare Department rather, the Department will approach the individual beneficiary to provide them their dues, said the Minister.
Responding to the demands of people regarding establishment of a Degree College and a hospital in the area, the Minister said that Government will explore the possibility for the same as the demands are very genuine, adding that education and health are the priority sectors of the Government and he will make his best efforts to provide these facilities on priority.
Referring to the upgradation of Jammu-Akhnoor road and Bantalab-Amb Gharota Road, the Minister said that Central Government has approved the 4-laning of Jammu-Akhnoor road and survey work will be completed within two months. Similarly, the Bantalab-Amb Gharota road upto new Akhnoor bridge has also been approved under Central Road Fund and work will start soon. He said these two roads are very important from traffic point of view and in the absence of their widening, numerous accidents are frequently taking place, therefore, the Government will expedite their upgradation in a time bound manner.
The Minister also announced upgradation of Dhiaran-Marjali road, saying that the previous regime ignored the road sector badly which caused numerous hardships to the people. The work on this road will start soon, said the Minister.