FAC clears projects, stresses on minimal felling of trees

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JAMMU: The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) headed by Chief Secretary, B B Vyas Wednesday called for minimum felling of trees and undertaking compensatory afforestation in lieu of forest land cleared for various development projects.
While clearing several proposals for use of forest land for construction of PMGSY roads in various forest divisions of the state, construction of service reservoirs for providing drinking water facility at Ban and Khanpur Nagrota, construction of various works of Pakal Dul HEP in Marwah forest division, construction works of 220 KV Multi-circuit Kishanganga to Amargarh Transmission Line at Doabagh Sopore etc, the Chief Secretary stressed upon strict supervision and monitoring of approved works in the forest areas.
Vyas emphasised that during the conceptualization stage itself, the road alignments be worked out in a manner so as to ensure minimum felling of tress. He said cutting of trees/saplings, which constitute a precious forest resource be avoided as far as possible and afforestation plans drawn up to fill up the gaps besides protection works be undertaken to prevent soil erosion.
The earlier direction of the FAC regarding conduct of an evaluation study of all PMGSY road projects was reiterated with directions to Commissioner/Secretary PW (R&B) Department to ensure the PMGSY roads under construction in phases be given priority for 3rd party evaluation and new phases should be allowed only after successful evaluation of the earlier PMGSY phase.
As part of the post approval monitoring mechanism, a detailed presentation on the progress of earlier cleared FAC projects was made by the Member Secretary; also highlighting therein, the observations recorded by the inspection/monitoring team.