JAMMU: Minister for Forest, Ecology &Environment Choudhary Lal Singh said that demarcation files, maps and other land records of forest areas have been digitized and are being uploaded in state e-facility (state server) for the security of records.
Replying to a question raised by MLA M Y Tarigami, the Minister said that the department is also imparting training to DFOs to use the digitized records.
“Muhafiz Khana for security of the old demarcation files, maps of demarcated forests have been established at Jammu as well as in Srinagar. Based on demarcation files and records, the boundary pillars are being renovated/ reconstructed in sensitive locations. The new boundary pillars of dimension 6′ X18″ X6 ” made of concrete are being erected at all the locations. The geo- reference of the established boundary pillars are being taken and stored for further use,” he asserted.
On the conservation of Wullar Lake, Dal Lake and other lakes/wetlands in the state, the Minister said during the past five years the Wullar Conservation and Management Authority has carried out dredging and de-silting operations over an area of 1 sq km of the critically silted area which stands fully restored.
He further informed that to enhance the water holding capacity of Wullar Lake, the Government is contemplating to carry out dredging/ removal of willow plantation from the critically silted areas of the Lake in near future. He said during the past 6 years, Rs 60 crore have been released for conservation of Wullar Lake.
Regarding other lakes of the state, the Minister said J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has the mandate for conservation and preservation of Dal and Nigeen Lake and it has taken up various projects for their conservation.
“The Projects which are under implementation include conservation and Management of Dal and Nigeen Lakes under NLCP at a project cost of Rs 298.76 crore, acquisition of land and structures under PMRP at a project cost of Rs 356.30 crore and Development of Rakh-e-Arth housing Colony for rehabilitation of Dal dwellers at a cost of Rs 416.72 crore,” he said.
The Minister also informed the house that department is also managing 15 notified wetlands under J&K Wildlife (Protection) Act 1978 which include Hygam, Mirgund, Shallabugh, Freshkori, Mangigam, Chatlum, Kranchoo, Hokersar, Sunisar, Mansar, Gharana, Ranjit Sagar wetlands, Pangong Tso, Tsomoriri, Tsokar Tso and Tsigul Tso.
The Minister also gave year-wise details of financial releases and physical achievements in regulation of these wetlands.
Regarding the conservation of Hangul, the Minister said that Dachigam National Park has been accorded the status of a single administrative unit under the wildlife division central for better management.
“Demarcation of the boundaries of Dachigam National Park and adjacent conservation reserves has been initiated to strengthen enforcement and protection” he said adding a conservation breeding center to breed Hangul in captivity and then replenish its wild populations has been established at Shikargah Tral.
Listing other conservation measures, he said grazing is restricted to upper areas of Dachigam, while efforts to relocate the sheep Breeding Farm from Dachigam are under process.
“Strict tourist flow and check on unnecessary vehicular movement is being enforced. Periodic census of Hangul population is regularly conducted by experts from reputed institutes of country,” he informed further.
Regarding the Conservation, breeding Center for Hangul, Lal Singh said that a project for construction of conservation breeding center of Hangul has been taken up by the department with the financial assistance from the central Zoo Authority.
The Minister said that the Markhor recovery project was launched in the year 2009-10 to ensure conservation of the globally threatened wild goat species. The Minister further informed that the Supreme Court Judgment which had proposed the forest department to hand over Lachipora Wildlife Sanctuary to Wildlife department and declaration of the Kazinag as National Park has been implemented.