Stop illegal quarrying in north Kashmir forests: HC to Govt
D A RASHID
Srinagar, Jan 7: The High Court has directed the Government to take immediate steps to stop illegal quarrying in the forest areas of Baramulla and Kupwara districts in north Kashmir.
The court has asked the official respondents including Commissioner Secretary Forest department, Chief Conservator of Forests Kashmir division, Director General of Police and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to file response and take prompt steps to stop the illegal quarrying in the forest area.
A division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court while pronouncing order on a public Interest litigation filed by Sofi Arif Maqbool through his counsel, G Murtaza asked the government to take speedy measures to stop the illegal quarrying in the demarcated forest areas.
The petitioner seeking action against the culprits for continuing the illegal quarrying in north Kashmir has furnished documentary evidence before the court in support of his contention.
“ In its status report, the committee constituted under the instructions of Chief Secretary in 2003, the conservator of Forests North Circle had reported that illegal quarrying was going on in Kupwara district at Gugloosa Payeen, Muqam-e-Shah wali(Drugmulla) and Sever(Lolab), but no action was taken against the culprits” Counsel for the petitioner contended.
He informed the court that illegal stone extraction was carried out in the demarcated forest areas of Harwan, Tujjer Satwari(A), Tujjar satwari(B), Khanpora and Veervan, of Kupwara district.
The counsel pleaded that the DFO Kamraz Forest Division Kupwara addressed a letter to SSP Baramulla wherein he was informed about extraction of stones from the compartment no 23/Kandi.
The SSP was told that the culprits assaulted the police and forest officials injuring them and an FIR 126/97 was registered in this regard in police station Sopore but despite it, illegal stone quarrying within the forest area was continuing.
The counsel submitted that the conservator of forests, Kashmir north Circle Sopore got the forest area demarcated which proved the stone quarry spot of Harvan Sopore within forest area.
The counsel submitted that Director Geology and Mining department was called upon to take necessary action as permits issued for quarrying of stones by Geology and Mining department were illegal.
The counsel argued that the report submitted by the Patwari of Halqa Harwan on the directions of Tehsilda Sopore on April 23, 2011 revealed that stone extraction continues in a hill in the forest by some residents and they have gone 300 feet inside the hill caused cracks in the hill which poses threat to the life and property of the people.
The counsel told the court that Jammu and Kashmir forest( Conservation) Act, 1997 by its section 2, puts ban for using any portion of forest for any no forest purpose.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 8 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST
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