Forest Encroachments: Government Speaks In Two Languages In Two Houses

Deforestation-in-KashmirKL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

J&K’s state forest ministry twisted facts while responding to two queries in the state assembly and legislature. It told Elders that the state forest ministry retrieved 961.25 hectors from encroachers in fiscal 2015-16. However, in the state assembly the government said that it has actually retrieved 2711.30 hectors of forest land from across the state.

It differed on the total land that is under encroachment. It told assembly that overall encroachment on forest land across the state was at 4711.48 hectors. But it told Elders that the overall encroachment on the forest land was at 12030.49 hectors.

Admitting that encroachment to the forest areas is a fact, the government said Jammu region is witnessed more than double encroachments on the forest land if compared to Kashmir. In Kashmir 3404.86 hectors are encroached up with south Kashmir Islamabad topping the districts with 1306.62 hectors.

Unlike Kashmir, Jammu has 8625.63 hectors of forest land under encroachment with Rajouri and Ramban topping the districts with 2329.32 hectors and 1847.72 hectors respectively.

Forest ministry said that it is following laid down procedures under law to retrieve the encroached land. In last one year, the government said it retrieved1238.54 hectors of forest land in Kashmir and only 1472.76 hectors in Jammu region.

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