Minister of State for Forest Mir Zahoor Ahmad, replying to a clubbed question of Sufi Yousuf, Vibodh Gupta, Ashok Khajuria, Charnjeet Singh and Ghulam Nabi Monga, today informed that the Forest Department has retrieved 961.25 hectares of encroached forest land during the 2015-16 by following due procedures.
The Minister informed that eviction notices were also served to persons who had encroached the forest land and whenever the issue becomes sub judice, the cases are properly defended.
The Minister said 7 FIRs in Jammu and 14 in Kashmir province have been registered during 2015-16 against 39 persons for obstructing the officers/officials in anti-encroachment operations.
The Minister said in some sensitive locations, retrieved forest land, as well as vulnerable areas are being fenced to prevent from re-encroachment.
The Minister said that the cooperation of Forest Protection Force, District Police and Revenue Department are sought whenever required, no time limit can be set as the problem is huge.
The Minister said total State land encroached in Jammu is 12, 68, 928 kanals, in Kashmir is 3,72,616 kanal. Similarly, forest land under encroachment as on March, 2016 is 1203049 hectares, of which 8625.63 hectares are in Jammu and 4304.86 hectares in Kashmir.
The Minister said that at present, 4304.86 hectares of forest land is under encroachment in Kashmir province, of which 33.81hectares have been encroached in Lidder Pahalgam, 16.30 in Kulgam Aharbal, 280.70 in Anantnag Kokernag and 5 hectares in Tangmarg of Gulmarg area.
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