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news details
Open loot of green gold goes unabated in Rajouri during lockdown
Silence of Forest Deptt indicates its involvement
6/5/2020 12:01:27 PM


ANKIT KESSAR

EARLY TIMES REPORT

RAJOURI, June 4: At a time when Government and its functionaries have been giving its full attention towards the containment of COVID-19 pandemic in J&K, the reports of illegal felling of green gold in the some parts of the Rajouri district by the locals have raised serious issues for the environment.
Sources told Early Times that the silence of the Forest Department over this issue indicates towards its casual and deliberate approach, which has been causing enormous harm to environment as well as to the revenue of the department as trees worth lakhs have been cut down ever since the lockdown has begun.
Taking benefit of the lockdown, the practice of illegal felling of forest trees going on without check in Nowshera Sub Division, Sunderbani Sub Division of some part of Rajouri town but the enforcement agencies are acting as mute spectator, they alleged.
They further said that JCBs were used in Laam area for cutting trees from forest when there was total ban on plying of vehicles. Although some social activists raised this issue with Forest Department but no action was taken against the culprits.
“Our PM has been urging to save forest in order to save environment and climate from his speeches but here the concerned department seems to have forgotten its prime duty of saving forest,” they said, adding that the unabated open loot of green gold also raises fingers on the functioning of concerned department as well as the alleged involvement in this illegal practice.
They further informed that last month police had caught a tractor laden with forest wood but still this illegal practice has been going on and so far woods worth lakhs have been felled from forest in last three month. Even some rare and protected trees were also felled down in this lockdown.
Forest Conservator Rajouri circle, Mohan Das, when contacted, said that department might have received complaints on illegal felling of forest trees but due to COVID-19, the manpower has been deputed on this job due to which the meetings with guards could not be held. As soon as the situation improves, the meeting will be taken and action against culprits will be taken. He further said that if any employee was found involved in this illegal practice, action will also be taken against him as per law.
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