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  • Panel calls for conservation, protection of Water bodies, Forests 

JAMMU:  A meeting of the Committee on Environment of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly was held here today under the Chairmanship of MLA, Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen.  Legislators, Usman Abdul Majid, Abdul Majid Larmi, Altaf Ahmad Wani, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, Choudhary Qamar Hussain, Abid Hussain Ansari, Dr Krishan Lal, Rajiv Jasrotia, Ravinder Raina and Anjum Fazili were present in the meeting and gave their suggestions regarding preservation, conservation and protection of water bodies, forests and wetlands in the state.

The members also gave their suggestions for improving the activities of the Forest Department and allied departments involved in the   environment conservation. Threadbare discussions were held on encroached land of forests, wetland and water bodies in the state and the steps taken by the government for rehabilitation of nomads which include Bakerwals, Gujjars, Gaddi, Sippy as well as people living near forests.

The Committee, while discussing the issue of rising incidents of man-animal conflict, recommended that Rs 50,000 compensation each should be provided to the affected families whose livestock is killed by wild animals.  The Committee also discussed preservation and protection of medicinal plants and asked the authorities to establish nurseries on the retrieved forest land for conserving rare plant species.

Commissioner Secretary, Forests, Ecology and Environment, Mohammad Afzal briefed the Committee about the status of forest management, besides steps taken by the department to conserve and preserve the important natural component of Environment and Economy besides regeneration of degraded forests for increasing green cover. He also informed the Committee about the status of encroachments on the forest land and water bodies in the state and the steps contemplated by the department to save the precious natural resources. The meeting was also informed about the steps taken for Wildlife Conservation and Management in the State.

He further informed about the steps being taken to ensure the active participation of tribal in forest conservation, considering them the protectors and not the encroachers. Principal Chief Conservator, A K Singh, Forest, Principal Chief Conservator Forests, Wildlife, Suresh Chugh, besides senior officers and officials of concerned department and its allied sectors and Assembly Secretariat attended the meeting.