M Majid Malik
Government on Monday ordered inquiry into the “illegal felling” of green Kairu and Deodar trees and recovery of over 350 timber sleepers from the Charalla forest area of Bhaderwah in compartment number 8 / 9J yesterday while the Conservator of Forests Chenab circle Tejbhadur Singh suspended one block forest officer Jai and two concerned beat Guards and recommended suspension of other officials who are allegedly involved in timber scam worth lakhs.
Official sources said that on the directions of the Forest Minister one Block officer of Jai forests and two beat guards of forest division Bhaderwah have been placed under suspension.
The Conservator of forests has also recommended suspension of other officers to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. “Chief Conservator of Forest, Jammu Farooq Geelani and Conservator of Forests Chenab Circle, Tejbhadur Singh have been directed to conduct thorough inquiry into the whole matter, fix responsibility and recommend action against the people involved and to constitute two inquiry committees, Forest Minister, Lal Singh told Kashmir Life.
He added that the Committees have been directed to file a detailed report within 15 days.
It is to mention here that loot of the green gold has gone unabated in Bhaderwah for last one year reflecting laidback approach of the authorities.
Bhaderwah is the lone green area in the world where black Cedar is found after California. The cutting of green Cedar and Pine trees is rampant in the area as the forest department authorities including concerned Divisional Forest Officer is not taking any pains to save natural heritage.