The Committee on Environment (EC) of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council today called for sustained and coordinated efforts to check the systematic cultivation and growth of Cannabis (bang) from the State with special reference to Lolab area in Kupwara district.
The Environment Committee that met here today under the Chairmanship of MLC, Qaiser Jamsheed Lone opined that the unprecedented growth of Bang is harming the environment as also the people are resorting to its misuse for drug addiction, which is a cause of concern for all and needs to be curbed with collective efforts. It issued directions to the officers of Forest, Pollution Control Board, Environment, Ecology and Remote Sensing Departments to take appropriate measures to check its systematic growth.
Legislators, Showkat Hussain Ganai, Surinder Mohan Ambardar and G L Raina, besides senior officers including Principal Chief Conservator Forest, A K. Singh, Chairman State Pollution Control Board, Ravi K Kesar, Principle Chief Conservator of Forests J&K Circle, Suresh Chug, Addl. PCCF, Dr. Mohit Gera, Director Environment O P Sharma, Director Social Forestry, Ashwani Kumar Gupta, Project Director, IWDP, P.K. Singh, Director S&WC, Javed Iqbal, Special Secretary Forest, Riyaz Ahmed and officers of Council Secretariat were also present in the meeting.
The Committee also held threadbare discussion on the issues of preservation and conservation of environment, water bodies and other natural resources to maintain the ecological balance across the State. The issues relating to check the menace of pollution by various means were also discussed in detail and everyone expressed concern on the increasing volume of pollution.
The Members stressed the need for stepping up efforts with the active involvement of various stakeholders of the society to generate awareness about the ill effects of the environment hazards on the planet and its future repercussions. The Members maintained that environment is the major challenge for every country in the world and all are making efforts to fight the common issue with full might. They directed the officers to come up with a concrete road map to fight the challenge and saving the nature in Jammu and Kashmir which is known for better environment and natural beauty.
The Committee also discussed the issue of NOCs on permanent/temporary basis for establishment of different industrial units throughout the State during the last 3 years with the special reference to district Kupwara. It was informed that no NOC has been issued to Brick Kiln and Stone Crushers for the last one year.
On the occasion, the officers of Forest department informed the Committee about the steps being initiated to protect the environment and check illegal growth of Bang across the State. They informed that the department has destroyed the bang cultivation over an area of 130 Kanals of forest land during the year of 2015 and the land was retrieved by removing the temporary fencing established by the people besides during the year of 2016 the crop of Bung was destroyed at early stages. As many as 52 FIRs have also been lodged against the violators who are indulging in systematic cultivation of crop.
Director Environment briefed the Committee about the State Action Plan on Climate Change and given detail characteristics regarding 11 action plan formulated by the department including Sustainable Energy Mission, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Green India Mission, Water Mission, Sustainable Agriculture, Disaster Management, Tourism, Health, Himalayan Mission and Strategic Knowledge.
The Committee further informed about the perspective Plan of Green India Mission, that the Forest Sector is dealt under one of the National Mission which is “Greening India Mission” being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India through the State Forest Department for the period of 2016-21 has been submitted in June, 2016 with an outlay of Rs.256.50 crore by the J&K Forest Department of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.