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JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board (JKHB) officials today removed encroachments here at Channi Himmat park and restored it to public.  According to a handout, on the directions of Managing Director JKHB R.K. Katoch, Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board (JKHB) officials including DGM Housing Unit-1 Firdous Ahmed Qazi, Collector AvleenKour, Senior Manager PoojaWazir and Naib Tehsildar Ravi ji Bhat besides team of engineers vacated the park located in sector 1 adjoining Ritz Manor Hotel in Channi Himmat Housing Colony from illegal encroachments and threw it open for public use. Local residents of nearby sectors were also present on the occasion.

The team of JKHB officials cleared the park off all encroachments and also sealed illegal entrances that were opened to encroach upon the park. These entries were closed on the spot and entrance towards main road opened for public use. Later sign boards depicting JKHB Park were also installed in the park. The local residents had since long been demanding clearing the park from encroachments and the park was today got vacated and restored for public use. Speaking on the occasion, DGM Housing Unit 1, Channi Himmat said this was a long pending demand of local public who claimed to have been using the park but had stopped because of encroachment.

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JAMMU: The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden, Suresh Chugh today reviewed functioning of the Wildlife Protection Department in Jammu. During the interactive meeting with Wildlife officials, the Chief Wildlife Warden was appraised about the progress and functioning of various Divisions. Regional Wildlife Warden Jammu, Wildlife Warden Jammu, Wildlife Warden Kathua, Wildlife Warden Chenab-Kishtwar, Wildlife Warden Jambu Zoo and AEE participated in the meeting.

 

A power-point presentation on the status of Jambu Zoo and related issues was made during the meeting. The issues regarding the works in Jambu Zoo and the status of funds came under discussion. The Wildlife Warden Jambu Zoo informed that an amount of Rs 10.85 crores has been spent on various works in Jambu Zoo till March 2018 under CAMPA. The Chief Wildlife Warden issued instruction to resubmit the APO/ Project for funding Zoo works under the scheme languishing Project Corporation. The PCCF later conducted the tour of the Jambu Zoo site near Nagrota along with the Chief Conservator of Forests Jammu.

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SRINAGAR: Despite government ban, illegal extraction of stones, boulders and sand from streams is going unabated in villages of Ganderbal district.  The locals said that the extraction of sand and boulders is going on in different parts of the district. The extraction has caused damage to the agricultural land of the area as the extraction in these streams has led to decrease in water level.

 

Locals told Press Trust of Kashmir news agency “We have many times in past approached the Flood and Irrigation department about the extraction of sand, but the authorities seems unmoved, the contractors, local sand mafias are extracting sand for construction of bunds, walls and houses”. They said that due to the large scale extraction in nallah Sindh, river Jhelum and with the result the walls that are constructed on the banks of these rivulets are meant to prevent floods but that are getting destroyed due to the greed of these sand mafias.

 

Press Trust of Kashmir News agency has learnt that at least six to seven sensitive sites are being vandalized by the practice as of now, where the extraction of sand, stones and boulders is going on round the clock. However for the last 15 days the extraction has been intensified and a round the clock vandalism is in top gear. Heavy machinery like JCB’s and bulldozers are being used to extract sand, stones and boulders from these sites leaving an irreversible, disastrous impact on the environment.

 

Experts express horror at the unabated practice, saying that a catastrophe is in waiting. High Court has already passed directions to the concerned officials to act against persons who indulge in such illegal activities.