Minister of State for Forest, Environment, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Fisheries and Cooperative, Mir Zahoor Ahmad today visited various areas in district Kupwara and took stock of the functioning of Forest Department and its allied Wings there.
During the tour, the Minister inspected Langate Coniferous Nursery, Office of the Divisional Forest Officer, Soil Conservation and Forest Range Officer Langate, Headquarter of Forest Protection Force (FPF) Nathnusa and Forest Campus Zangli.
At Range Office, the Minister directed the concerned to dismantle unsafe building of Old Range Office immediately. He also asked the concerned for auction of damaged and old departmental vehicles.
During the inspection to Soil Conservation Office, Mir Zahoor instructed the concerned to prepare a comprehensive plan for development of existing Nursery under RKVY and submit the same to the concerned quarter for arrangement of funds.
While inspecting Forest Campus Zangli and Langate Coniferous Nursery, the Minister was informed that there are 2.11 lakh saplings of different species of different age groups available in the Zangli Nursery while as 53000 saplings of coniferous trees are presently available in Langate Coniferous Nursery.
The Minister while inspecting various sections of Headquarter FPF Nathnusa directed the concerned to work with utmost dedication and ensure that there should be no timber smugglings at all.
Earlier, the Minister convened a meeting with the Officers of Forest, State Forest Corporation (SFC), FPF and Soil Conservation Departments and reviewed over all activities of these Departments, held at Environment Awareness Centre, Handwara.
The Conservator of Forest North Circle briefed the meeting about the highlights of Kashmir North Circle. It was given out in the meeting that up to ending March, 2017, the Forest Department handed over 8.51 lakh cfts of timber markings to SFC. It also informed that 3.53 lakh cfts converted stocks at KLP and PLP and 41118 cfts Depot Stocks handed over to SFC.
Taking stock of availability of stock position of Division Wise during 2017-2018, it was given out in the meeting that there are presently 20.17 lakh cfts available in the stocks of Forest Department which include 8.11 lakh cfts in Kamraj Division, 4.32 lakh cfts in Kehmil, 5.69 lakh cfts in Langate while as 2.05 lakh cfts of timber in Jelum Valley Division. It was also informed that 5.01 lakh cfts were handed over to SFC up to August 12, 2017.
It was informed in the meeting that 1995.08 hectares of forest land are under encroachment as on April, Ist 2017, out of which 35 hectors evicted during 2017-2018 and efforts are afoot to eviction of remaining portion.
Detailed discussions were also held on timber issued direct from Forests Kashmiri Notice and it was informed in the meeting that 70 trees with 7200 cfts volume were issued among 70 beneficiaries of Langate, Kamraj and Kehmil Divisions up to ending July, 2017.
While taking stock of fire wood issued to consumers, it was apprised that against 18000 quintals of fire wood target, 478 quintals achieved and were supplied to PC Depot up to ending July, 2017.
Chief General Manager, SFC while briefing in the meeting gave detailed abstract of timber supplied to the consumers. He informed that there are five divisions functional in Kashmir North Circle. It was also given out that 4.7 lakh cfts of timber were dumped and 3.7 lakh cfts of timber were supplied to the consumers of these divisions. It was also informed in the meeting that 26839 sanctions were issued among the consumers.
Addressing the meeting, the Minister stressed for need based development and quality work. He also emphasized upon the officers on the utilization of allocated funds for various developmental works in full. He said the officers will be made accountable for implementation of all the programs and schemes in their respective jurisdictions.
Mir Zahoor directed the officers to put their sincere efforts in developing all the established nurseries in Kashmir North Circle by planting good number of different saplings. He also stressed for proper monitoring of Nurseries.
The Minister said that J&K State is blessed with abundant natural affluence and resources and it becomes moral responsibility of all of us to contribute collectively for safeguarding of forest wealth and its preservation, conservation and protection. He emphasized on the need to make people aware about the importance of saving forests in larger interest of the State.