Chief Secretary, B R Sharma, Tuesday stressed on constant monitoring of the construction works in fragile forests of the state.
"Under no circumstances should the cut & fill operations associated with road construction damage adjacent forest slopes and impede precious streams," he said.
"Forest department must ensure that protection and stabilization works, plantations and eco-restoration works are carried by the user agencies as per the contract agreement and in line with the instructions of the Forest Advisory Committee," Sharma said.
Chairing the 92nd meeting of the Forest Advisory Committee here, Chief Secretary underscored the need to improve the overall monitoring mechanism of construction works in forest areas. "There is a need to harmonize development requirements of the people and maintaining forest ecology," he said and asked the Forest department to proactively ensure that user agencies do not violate the contract agreement and if a breach is observed in the sanctioned projects, responsibilities are fixed and penalties imposed.
The FAC viewed a presentation on 'monitoring of projects sanctioned under the J&K Forest (Conservation ) Act'. It also discussed and cleared several proposals for allowing use of forest land for developmental projects falling in different forest divisions of the State.
The FAC reiterated the direction on minimum felling of trees and emphasized on undertaking compensatory afforestation in the forests where ever development works are being taken up.
Financial Commissioner Revenue, Principal Secretary Forests, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests J&K, Commissioner Secretary Finance, Chief Wild Life Warden J&K, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Commissioner Secretary PWD and other officers were present in the meeting.