1200 hectares of forest land encroached in Kupwara
Kupwara, June 26: The encroachment of forest land in frontier district of Kupwara is going on unabated with people illegally occupying 1200 hectares of land in three compartments at Kamraj, Kehmil and Langate divisions.
“The people have encroached upon 526.94 hectares of forest land in Kamraj forest division alone. Encroachments also galore in Kandi, Natnoosa, Hayhama belt and Lolab,” officials of the Forest Department told Greater Kashmir on the conditions of anonymity.
The highest number of encroachment cases has been reported from Kupwara with people illegally occupying 158.99 hectares in the area, followed by Lolab 146.97 hectares, Kandi range 123.60 hectares, South Lolab 73.03 hectares and in Machil Range 24.35 hectares.
“A total of 526 hectares of forest land has been encroached upon till March and most of these cases have been recorded in Kamraj Forest division alone,” they said.
Same is the situation in Kehmil and Langate forest divisions of the district, where encroachments are going unabated. “The worst hit areas in these two divisions are Wayan, Zurhama, Awoora, Dedikoot, Kachama, Melyal, Kralpora, Tumina, Marsri, Ramhal, Rajwar belt, Mawar and upper areas of Langate. In both these forest divisions more than 673 hectares of forest land has been grabbed by locals,” they added.
Giving details about their modus operandi, conscious citizens of the area said that “the encroachers first cut down the green trees during nights and smuggle the Deodar and Kail timber to markets at higher rates. They then erect the fencing around the land and grow maize or grass. During winters they construct houses on the encroached land and all of this is done in connivance with forest officials.”
“Most portions of compartment number 75 and 76 of Manighah have been encroached upon by the people. I requested the concerned officials to take measures to evict the land grabbers, but all in vain. Now with the help of RTI Act, I am seeking information from the concerned Department as to what measures it is taken to free the land from encroachers,” said Asgar Ali, newly elected Sarpanch of Manigah village.
When contacted, DFO Kamraj, Muhammad Siddique Lone told Greater Kashmir that “We have sought the help of experts of demarcation division of forest Directorate Srinagar, besides this, field staff of revenue department shall be assisting us in identifying our forest areas and only after that we shall be able to draw a dividing line between forest area, proprietary land. The encroached land will be freed soon.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 26 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 26 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 27 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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