|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, May 25: In a significant development, the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) has operationalized its 'Tree Authority,' joining the ranks of a few Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the country. The Tree Authority empowers the JMC to grant permission for tree-cutting activities in Jammu, among other powers.
Mayor Rajinder Sharma informed that Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune are among the few corporations that have such an authority. It is worth mentioning that Mayor Rajinder Sharma introduced the resolution for the Tree Authority when he was a Councillor in the Local Body. Today, as the Mayor, he chaired the authority's first meeting, marking its operationalization.
Previously, individuals seeking permission to cut a tree had to visit the offices of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO). With the establishment of the Tree Authority, people can now approach their respective Councillor, who will liaise with the concerned Tree Officer. This streamlined process aims to reduce the bureaucratic hurdles and enhance transparency in the trimming and cutting of trees.
Mayor Rajinder Sharma highlighted that the Tree Authority will also address the issue of fallen trees, which previously posed challenges in terms of clearance. Additionally, individuals will now have the option to sell the wood from fallen trees.
The Divisional Forest Officer, Social Forestry Jammu, will serve as the Tree Officer, while the Authority will be headed by the Mayor as Chairman. It will consist of four members, including the Deputy Mayor, JMC Commissioner, Divisional Forest Officer (Urban Forestry Division, Jammu), and District Horticulture Officer, Jammu.
The Tree Authority will also maintain records of trees in the city. Furthermore, the Mayor announced that the JMC will soon distribute hybrid apple plants developed by agricultural scientists. These apple trees are particularly suitable for arid areas and can even yield fruits in desert-like conditions.