M Majid Malik
Two officials of the forest department in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhaderwah have been placed under suspension for dereliction of duties in Bhaderwah forest division of Doda.
On receiving a complaint of damage in Chiralla Forest Range of Bhaderwah Forest Division, a team of Forest Protection Force (FPF) conducted thorough checking of forest in Tanta forest area and found 53 trees of deodar, Kail and Fir massacred.
After conducting checking, the team submitted report to CF Chenab circle in which 53 illegal damages were reported and no cognizance was taken by the concerned field staff.
Taking serious note of dereliction of duty and sheer negligence by the concerned field staff, CF Chenab Circle TB Singh placed Block Forester and Beat guard under suspension.
CF Chenab circle constituted special teams for search of forest area in Chiralla range which will complete the inquiry within 15 days and submit report to CF for further course of action.
CF has further said that no leniency will be shown towards delinquent staff and stern action will be taken if damage is detected any where in the Bhaderwah Division.
When contacted Farooq Gillani (IFS), Chief Conservator of Forests Jammu said that CF Chenab would file the report after inquiry and many heads may roll after the report is received.
When asked about the value of the timber sleepers/ logs seized so far, he disclosed that as per rough figures provided by the officials, it could be in lakhs but in coming days, the figure may go higher as some teams, are still on the job.
CCF Jammu said that nobody would be allowed to cut the green trees. “Anyone involved will face music,” he said.
It is worthwhile to mention here that “Once the Bhaderwah forest was famous for its quality and quantity is now depleting with pace”. The smugglers are cutting green trees on daily basis, which poses a threat to environment.
Locals alleged that the concerned authorities are turning blind eye towards the matter. The chopping of trees on daily basis is turning dense forests into an open field and forest department had failed to protect green gold .