The illegal cutting of walnut trees is going unabated in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district while the authorities are acting as mute spectators as no action is being taken against these violators.
Locals alleged that the authorities have failed to curb the illegal cutting of walnut trees.
The illegal walnut cutting according to local sources is going on in broad day light in various Pulwama areas including Kakapora, Ratnipora, Pahoo, Begum Bagh, Naman, Badi Bagh, Hassan Weni, Larve, Ukhoo, Narbal and Hakripora.
They said that some vested interests are posing a threat to the walnut trees. “Some vested interests who are also well connected are illegally cutting the walnut trees while the authorities have so far failed to curb the menace,” locals said.
According to a rough survey, 90 percent of the total walnut demand in India is being met by Kashmir only.
The total area under walnut is 30,800 hectare and the annual production is 36,000 metric tons in the country.
But with each passing day, the land under walnut as well as the production of walnut is decreasing, which is a serious concern as the walnuts are still the sources of livelihood to thousands of Kashmiris.
Locals said that the administration must play its role to curb the menace.
Residents in the area alleged that “it is all due to corrupt revenue employees, who are allowing the cutting without reporting it to the higher authorities.”
Meanwhile, Tehsildar Kakapora, said that “I don’t have any information in this regard.”
However, he said that he will look into the matter and anyone found guilty will be dealt with strictly.