Joint review meeting on forest protection held

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SRINAGAR: A joint review meeting on forest protection scenario of five territorial divisions and districts falling under the jurisdiction of Srinagar Forest Circle was on Saturday held under the chairmanship of Conservator of Forests, Srinagar Circle Irfan Ali Shah at Forest Headquarters Sheikhbagh, here.
During the meeting, various issues of forest protection including encroachment removal from the demarcated forest areas, registering FIRs against forest offenders, PSA against habitual forest offenders, need for joint nakas and patrolling especially in vulnerable areas, forest fire-fighting and intelligence sharing etc were discussed threadbare.
During the meeting, it was informed that in Srinagar Circle during last one year 6.48 ha area of forest land has been retrieved from encroachers, 28 FIRs have been lodged against 91 culprits, 1 PSA dossier has been prepared against habitual forest offenders, 32 nakas have been set up, 23 vehicles, 13 horses, 1841 cft of illicit timber, 5.36 Qtls of MFP has been seized.
It was also informed that 27 forest officials have been injured in both forest fire-fighting as well as anti-smuggling operations, especially during night hours. Benevolent fund scheme for the welfare of forest officials was also discussed during the meeting.
Strict directions were passed to the DFOs of Territorial Department and Dy Directors of Forest Protection Force as regards curbing of forest damages and booking the culprits under law. Intelligence sharing and setting of internal watchdogs for greater transparency and accountability was stressed upon during the meeting. The meeting amongst others was attended by Territorial DFOs and Deputy Directors of Forest Protection Force of Urban (Srinagar), Bandipora, Tangmarg, Budgam, Sindh (Ganderbal) Forest Divisions and FPF Gamma Units.