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Green felling, plantation drive go together in Gulmarg

Mos Forests acknowledges green felling, says action is taken against accused


Srinagar, Nov 27 (KNS): At a time when felling of green trees in forests of Gulmarg and other areas of Kashmir is rampant, J&K Hoteliers Club in collaboration with Forest Department started a plantation drive in Gulmarg-Tangmarg bowl.
According to a statement of J&K Hoteliers Club, they are going to plant three lakh saplings in the area for which inauguration was done by Minister for Forests and Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh today.
But stakeholders question the timing of the plantation and Forest Department’s ‘inability’ to top green felling. “With December approaching, it is not a right time for plantation at a place like Gulmarg. This should have been started in March-April as Gulmarg remains under snow for three months,” they said.
“Firstly, it is really not a suitable time to go for plantation of saplings. Secondly, the snowfall in the area in winters is always heavy. So that snow won’t let these trees to grow. These saplings will decay beneath the snow,” they added.
Gulmarg, famous for its lush green meadows and world class Alps, has faced massive forest smuggling and timber chopping over the years as number of hotels have come up in the area. “The hotels have come up after chopping down of trees at massive scale. Even the process of felling of green trees goes unabated,” sources alleged.
When contacted, Minister of State (MoS) for Forests Mir Zahoor admitted that green felling was going on in some areas of the Kashmir, including Gulmarg. “But wherever, we receive complaints, action is taken,” he said.
The Minister also acknowledged that this was not the plantation season in Kashmir. (KNS)