Conservator of Forests, South Kashmir reviews functioning of Forest Division Shopian

SHOPIAN, JULY 04 (KNS): The Conservator of Forests, South Kashmir Irfan Ali Shah today reviewed functioning of Forest Department in Shopian Forest Division to take stock of preparations for implementation of various developmental works being executed during the current financial year in the District.

On the occasion, the Conservator of Forests laid stress on making progress on deliverables for the current financial year. He stressed on conservation of wetland, development of Amrit Sarovars inside forests and directed for maintaining these ponds for the benefit of people and forests.

He emphasized on institutionalizing and adapting of "Van se Jal aur Jal se Jeevan" concepts and directed that ponds inside forest areas need to be rejuvenated immediately.  The guidelines under the Amrit Sarovar scheme were discussed threadbare.

DFO Shopian was directed to prepare for ceremonial plantation drives to be carried out at the identified Amrit Sarovar sites on 15th August, 2022 involving Panchayat representatives.

The deliverable under theme “Qabza Mukht Janglat” was also discussed. Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Shopian was directed to take immediate necessary steps for retrieval of encroached Forest land in Shopian. The Conservator of Forests directed for eviction of all encroachments in a time bound manner and booking of encroachers under the provisions of Indian Forest Act.

He also directed for identifying new suitable sites for construction of new Forest Rest houses for local people as well as tourists and stressed on facilitating online bookings through awareness programmes for promotion of sustainable Eco-tourism in Shopian District.

Further, the DFO Shopian was directed to submit details of new trekking routes, tenting/camping sites to be opened during the current year. He also directed for organizing of Eco-Tourism festivals for promoting sustainable Eco-Tourism activities in Shopian.

The Conservator of Forests also visited Forest Protection Force Headquarters Gama Unit K-04 Shirmal Shopian to take stock of the Forest Protection Scenario. A joint review meeting was also held at the Forest Protection Force Headquarter, Shopian.

Stress was given on the protection of forests and dealing with habitual forest damagers/timber smugglers with iron hand. The Officers were directed to ensure zero tolerance towards illicit forest damages. 

On the spot directions were given to DFO, Shopian and Deputy Director Forest Protection Force Shopian to establish a joint Control Room in Sangerwani Forests immediately.

Under the centrally sponsored scheme “Green India Mission”, the Divisional Forest Officer, Shopian was advised to implement the components of Green India Mission which will help in generating employment for locals, besides strengthening of local level institutions and women empowerment.

  The Conservator of Forests also directed for initiating Forest based livelihood support programmes for Self Help Groups and Women groups to address poverty related issues especially of forest fringe communities.

The Conservator of Forests had also interaction with District Development Commissioner, Shopian, Sachin Kumar Vaishya regarding organizing of Eco-tourism festivals, coordination with different agencies for forest protection, development of wood-based industries, claims under Forest Rights Act were discussed threadbare. 

The Conservator of Forests directed Divisional Forest Officer Shopian to expedite the process of scrutinizing both individual as well as Community claims under Forest Rights Act, 2006. He stressed on protection of rights and interests of Tribal Communities including Gujjar, Bakerwal and Chopan communities in District Shopian.(KNS)

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