Ex-gratia for man-animal conflict victims increased to Rs 3 lakh

Jammu: The government has increased the ex-gratia relief for victims of man-animal conflicts to Rs 3 lakh, the state Assembly was told.
“The ex-gratia relief for the victims of man-animal conflicts has been increased to Rs 3 lakh. Several measures were taken to check the incidents,” state Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmed, while replying to the demand of grants for the Forests Department in the House said last evening.
Earlier, the ex-gratia amount for such victims was Rs one lakh.
At least 27 persons died in such incidents, besides 328 persons were injured in Kashmir division, he said.
The Minister said that four new forest divisions are being created to further strengthen the network of the department.
The department has issued forest clearance for several road projects besides ropeway of Mubarak Mandi and Zojila Tunnel, he said.
Under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority programme, about Rs 55 crore are being utilised for development of forests in the state and a number of works have been completed, Ahmed said, adding that with certain firm measures, the government has succeeded in curbing timber smuggling in the state.
He said that the monitoring mechanism has been intensified across the state while chain fencing is being undertaken to conserve forest land in Jammu to avoid encroachment of forest areas.
The Minister said that 40 new posts of divisional forest officers have recently been filled and process of recruitment of 450 forest guards is in progress.
The Minister said that conservation of Asia’s largest Wullar Lake is being carried out at a cost of Rs 120 crore, adding that for the purpose Rs 12 crore were expended this fiscal, while as tenders for Rs 24 crore for executing various conservation works of the lake have been floated.