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news details
Under garb of laying Transmission line; Over 300 walnut trees axed in Budgam
8/19/2018 10:49:41 PM
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Aug 19: Over 300 walnut trees have been illegally axed in only a handful of villages in Budgam under the garb of laying 400 KVA interstate transmission line. Sources say that timber mafia are having a field day due to lack of checks and balances in more than a dozen villages. As work on erection of towers and laying of transmission line is going on from last one year in Khansahib and Chadoora sub divisions of Budgam district, authorities have failed to curb this illegal activity.
Details available with Early Times reveal that work executed by NRSS Power Ltd while executing the work on 400 KV Transmission Line in Budgam has axed more than 300 walnut trees illegally in villages of Balpora , Raithan , Kachwari , Wutrad, Neegu , Batwodder , Bonen, Buzgoo and few other villages. As per the J&K Reservation of Specified Trees Act, proper permission is to be sought from Deputy Commissioners and SDM but no such permission has allegedly been sought by the company. It is alleged that even if permission has been sought in some cases it was granted for handful of trees in a village but under the garb of this, 3 to 4 times more trees have been axed and authorities are mute spectators to this mess.
As reported already timber mafia associated with walnut wood trade is involved in illegal smuggling of these trees. Irony is that green and young walnut trees are being felled in South and Central Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian , Budgam and Ganderbal. Sources say that walnut timber / firewood is openly being sold by timber and firewood dealers in Srinagar which is a punishable offence.
"The officials of revenue department are said to be hand and glove with the smugglers as Tehsildars give permission for axing of these trees. Open loot of walnut trees is going on in our area under garb of development and laying of Amargrah Samba transmission line " said Manzoor Ahmad a local resident of Nilnag Buzgoo in Budgam.
Walnut trees are being felled at an alarming rate in Shopian , Kulgam , Anantnag , Tral , Budgam , Kupwara , Baramulla and several other places from last 1 year.
Authorities in Budgam failed even to file formal FIR's against the accused persons who axed several chinar and walnut trees during the 2016 unrest. As reported already as many as 12 chinar trees and 200 plus walnut trees were axed between July 15thand October 15th 2016 in Budgam district alone.
"Timber / fire wood dealers in Bemina, Tengpora , Sanat Nagar , Hawal and many other areas of Srinagar are selling walnut wood / timber in open and authorities especially the District Administration is mute spectator to this illegal trade " said Nayeem Ahmad a resident of Nowgam Srinagar.
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