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Social Forestry Kathua destroys green cover along NH-1A
Uproots fully grown trees for new plantation
11/2/2016 11:04:25 PM
Akshay Azad
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Nov 2: Entrusted with the responsibility to increase the green cover, the Kathua Social Forestry has reportedly engaged in green cover destruction. It has been observed that numerous grown up trees have been uprooted only to make space for plantation drive along national highway 1-A.
People residing along the national highway-1A in Lakhanpur informed Early Times Social Forestry division Kathua has been making space for new plantation along the sides of national highway, for which they have engaged man and machinery.
"To our utter shock, on Wednesday afternoon, the JCB engaged by Social Forestry division Kathua, uprooted numerous grown up trees, just opposite of Komal Paper Mills, which is just two kilometers from Lakhnapur towards Kathua", the residents said.
They further informed that there was a nursery of Irrigation department in between National Highway and Kashmir Canal, traversing through the area.
"Large grown up trees were there but instead of clearing the bushes, a JCB machine is engaged, which brutally uprooted these plants of 6-8 years age. It is very difficult to raise plants but it was very unfortunate that the department entrusted with the responsibility to make new green covers has been engaged in destruction of trees", the residents said, adding that they were not against the new plantation drive, but at least the grown up trees, must not be axed or uprooted.
The residents further claimed that it was not only the case of the particular area but thousands of grown up trees were uprooted by Social Forestry division along the National Highway, fall in limits of district Kathua for making space for new plantation.
"A criminal case must be registered against the officials of Social Forestry for uprooting the grown up trees in Kathua division. Instead of engaging the JCB machine, the department must engage men to clear the bushes".
The residents appealed Forest Minister to take cognizance of matter and take appropriate action against the officials of Social Forestry, responsible for destruction of green cover of the area.
DFO Social Forestry Kathua division, Sagar Singh denied the allegations and said that he had instructed the men only to clear the bushes and not the grown up trees. But when the correspondent questioned about the photographs forwarded by residents of uprooted grown up trees, the DFO said that he would once again instruct the men not to destroy any grown up tree.
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