|Early Times Report|
SRINAGAR, Sept 19: The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) headed by Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam in its 115th meeting held in Civil Secretariat, Srinagar cleared 48 proposals regarding use of 137 hectares of forest land for various projects of public importance in road, railway, drinking water, power and education sectors on specified terms and conditions.
It would be relevant to mention that this is the highest ever number of proposals cleared in an FAC Meeting during the past 3 years. Out of 48 proposals, 29 proposals were cleared in road sector, 9 proposals in power sector, 3 proposals for border roads, 2 proposals each for PHE, Army, BSF and one proposal each for Railway & School Education.
Financial Commissioner, Finance, Financial Commissioner Revenue, Commissioner/Secretary Forest, Ecology & Environment Department, Commissioner/Secretary, School Education Department, Commissioner/Secretary PWD (R&B), Principal Chief Conservator of Forests J&K/ Director Soil and Water Conservation Department, J&K, Director Environment and Remote Sensing Department, J&K, Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K, Chief Conservator of Forests/ Member Secretary FAC, Environmentalist Dr S P Dutta, other senior officers of Forest and PMGSY and representatives of User Agencies participated in the meeting.
One proposal in the road sector was deferred on account of large number of trees coming in the alignment with FAC directing the user agency to review the alignment so as to reduce the number of tress to bare minimum.
While reiterating the directions on ensuring bare minimum felling of trees as far as possible, undertaking compensatory afforestation over alternate land in lieu of diversion of forest land and observance of other conditions, Chief Secretary asked the Forest department to ensure that the Monitoring Committees constituted for the purpose closely monitor the works being undertaken in the forest areas to ensure preservation of flora, fauna and undertaking afforestration activities. Chief Secretary also asked the user agencies to ensure that saplings coming in the alignment of the projects are transplanted on time and monitored closely till their maturity into trees.