JAMMU: In a major anti-encroachment drive, Department of Forests retrieved 5450 kanals (681.25 acres) of forest lands from encroachments during the last six months.
Of the encroachments, 3,643 kanals (455.37 acres) of forest lands have been retrieved in Jammu region and 1,798 kanals (224.75 acres) in Kashmir region.
In Jammu region, 648 kanals have been retrieved in Jammu district, 315 kanals in Ramnagar (Udhampur district), 647 kanals in Basholi (Kathua district), 123 kanals in Nowshera (Rajouri district) and 350 kanals in Doda district.
In Kashmir region, 525 kanals were retrieved in Anantnag, 600 kanals in Kulgam and 299 kanals in Shopian.
“In areas where there is a possibility of re-encroachment, such areas are being fenced with chain link fencing/toe walls and plantation is being undertaken in these areas,” a statement of the department said.
On the forest lands retrieved from encroachments, demarcation pillars are also being reinstalled. “Their GPS coordinates are being taken and digital records are being built. All forest areas vulnerable to encroachments are being mapped and in order to protect such lands, fencing and plantations are being carried out in those areas,” the statement added.