Ignored by Govt, Hajibal axed of green gold
District administration looks the other way
Hajibal (Baramulla), June 20: While Jammu and Kashmir Government is thinking to bring this north Kashmir village on tourist map by linking it to main Baramulla town, hundreds of trees are being felled in the area, posing a threat to biodiversity in the region.
Almost 8000-ft above sea level, Hajibal has become the safe haven for smugglers who are allegedly hand in glove with officials of Forest department, locals told Greater Kashmir.
“Government ignoring this village has not only brought miseries in terms of lack of civic amenities to people but nature is also being attacked with trees felled in hundreds owing to the failure of authorities to check this activity which is growing day by day,” a group of villagers said.
The picturesque beauty of this village cannot be only gauged from its dense forests, ever-continuing breeze and vast, green pastures but its link to a basin called Boos – famous for potato cultivation, somewhat 20 kilometers, half a day walk from Hajibal.
There is a saying in the village that if crises hit J&K, Boos would be the savior, for it is rich in potato cultivation. “But Government seems to have forgotten everything except potatoes. Although they get best of potato cultivation from Boos, they are hardly concerned about the trees which are being cut in agreement with Forest officials,” villagers alleged.
Villagers said Boos could be one the most prominent tourist spots provided nature is cultivated. “The beauty of whole of this belt is its trees,” they said. “But when their felling is going rampantly there is no likelihood of these two spots being recognized as tourist spots. We wonder in due course of time if there would be any trees left.”
They said they had appealed to the district administration to take note of the felling of trees but no action was taken. “It seems that there is no one concerned about the felling of trees. Even after complaints they think we are kidding. They don’t believe us,” said Syed Nazir, a villager.
While the idea of linking Hajibal with the rest of the Valley has brought new hope to the villagers, on the other hand they are witnessing scenes of devastation.
Sources in the district administration said the basic idea to link Hajibal with the main town was actually in interest of some politicians who have purchased land there at cheapest of the costs. “The main idea of theirs is to build hotels and restaurants after competition of the road. But it is a bad omen to the environment of the village as trees are felled in that very connection,” they said.
The Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Ghulam Ahmad Khwaja, when contacted, said no such matter has been brought into the notice of district administration. “Actually nobody has complained the matter in the office. Nonetheless, I will look into the matter,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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