The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) headed by Chief Secretary, B B Vyas Saturday in its 97th meeting held at the Civil Secretariat here cleared fifteen proposals of urgent developmental and public importance.
Financial Commissioner Revenue, Mr Lokesh Dutt Jha, Commissioner/Secretary, Forest, Ecology & Environment, Mohammad Afzal Bhat, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF), J&K, Mr A K Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), J&K, Mr Suresh Chug Environmentalists, Dr S P Singh Dutta and Dr G A Bhat, Member Secretary and Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr Abdul Gani and other senior officers were present in the meeting.
While clearing various proposals, Chief Secretary directed that the cutting of trees/saplings, which constitute a precious forest resource be avoided as far as possible and afforestation plans drawn up to fill up the gaps besides protection works be undertaken to prevent soil erosion. He also asked the concerned departments to factor in the cost of slope stabilization, and eco restoration of dumping sites in the project proposals.
The FAC observed that all works including construction of roads, laying of power transmission lines and other public utilities in the forest areas need to be strictly monitored and no deviation by the user agencies allowed. He said dedicated teams of forest and soil conservation officials be constituted to ensure against any violation of the terms of agreement by the user agency during the construction process and all measures be taken to safeguard trees and forest landscape.
The FAC stressed on undertaking compensatory forestation over alternate land in lieu of diversion of forest land for non forest use.
Emphasising upon the need to harmonise developmental requirements of the people and maintaining forest ecology, Chief Secretary asked the Forest department to streamline the system of marking of trees and put in place a robust monitoring mechanism to ensure that only marked trees are felled in the process of construction. (PTK)