JAMMU: Minister for Forests, Choudhary Lal Singh informed the House that demarcation of all notified wetlands of the state has been initiated in collaboration with concerned Revenue Authorities. Replying to a question of Legislator M. Y. Tarigami, the Minister said that during 2017-18 Union Government has approved an amount of Rs 59.00 lakh under centrally sponsored scheme for survey and demarcation, surveillance, habitat development, awareness etc for Hokersar, he added and said that the funds for conservation and protection of these natural assets are managed through various centrally sponsored schemes, Capex Budget and CAMPA funds.
The Minister said that there was no proposal for inter-linkage of wetlands, lakes, canals with river Jhelum. He further added that there is no report of illegal construction, mining activities and stone crushers inside the protected areas. He said that no construction activities are allowed in wildlife protected areas including Protected Areas In Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary, Overa-Aru Wildlife Sanctuary in Pahalgam and Thajwas Wildlife Sanctuary in Sonmarg. For strengthening Wildlife department, the Minister said 76 vacancies have been referred to the SSRB and PSC for filling vacant posts in different categories. He said the proposal for reorganization of the department for strengthening the manpower and ratio of employees is under consideration of the government, he said.