Jammu and Kashmir government today said 217 encroachers have grabbed over 50 hectares of forest land at different tourist resorts in the state.
Minister of Forests, Environment and Ecology Choudhary Lal Singh, in a written reply, told the Legislative Assembly that 217 encroachers have grabbed 50.94 hectares of forest land at the tourist resorts.
He said 4,589.66 hectares encroached land has been retrieved from the encroachers last year.
The department has been geared up to end this menace and the eviction of encroachments is being linked to the performance assessment of the officers concerned, the Minister said.
While listing the measures taken to contain deforestation, Singh told the House that licenses have been granted/renewed only to saw mills that “satisfy” the norms prescribed under J&K Wood Based Registration & Regulation Rules.
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The department has seized 18 saw mills in last three years for violating the rule, he said.
The Minister said all premature transfers in the department have been done in the interest of the administration with the approval of the competent authority as per GAD circular.
Singh told the House that the state has 20,23,000 sq km of forest land.
Regarding the measures taken to check the “menace of monkeys” in the state, the Minister said the department has appealed to the public not to feed them, especially on the road side, temple complexes and other public places.
“Trapping of monkeys and their translocation to some other areas has also been taken in many cases. The awareness camps are being organised to make the general public aware about do’s and don’ts,” he added.