Jammu and Kashmir government has retrieved 2,625 acres of forestland from illegal possession in Jammu and Kashmir this year.
“During the past 9 months, over 21000 Kanals (2,625 acres) of forestland has been retrieved from illegal possession of people in different parts of the State”, Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Bali Bhagat said today.
He said new government has decided to free every inch of encroached land and restore these as green cover.
Besides, government has decided to undertake a massive plantation drive across the state to rejuvenate the degraded forest areas, said Bhagat.
He said that world is witnessing abnormal behaviour of nature including untimely and heavy rains, severe and prolonged droughts and other environmental hazards which have clearly been linked to climate change.
“Global warming has put every country on the globe in great anxiety, forcing them to come together on a single platform to discuss the vital issue and seek solutions to meet the challenge collectively”, he said.
Environment is such a subject which is connected with the life of every one, rich or poor, hence it is obligatory on the part of every individual to contribute towards this sacred cause and also educate others to help in promoting the environment to secure future generations, he added.
To curb the menace of timber smuggling and other valuable forest produce, Bhagat said that the department has devised a well-knit mechanism and stepped up the vigil in sensitive areas and during the same period over 400 vehicles and 200 horses and ponies used in illegal activities have been confiscated.
Government will deal with all such criminals sternly and impose heavy fine to create deterrence, so that no one dares to cause loss to natural resources, he asserted.