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| Last Updated:: 23/10/2013

J&K losing forest cover to infrastructure projects

 J&K losing forest cover to infrastructure projects 

Bismah Malik/TNS

Srinagar, October 14
Infrastructure projects running in the state are eating up the forest cover of the ecologically fragile Jammu and Kashmir, this has been revealed in the official statistics of the Department of Forests, Environment and Ecology.

 

As per the figures, 875.6647 hectares of forest land has been used for construction of roads under the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), the nationwide rural road connectivity initiative.

 

Besides human encroachments, infrastructure projects in the state are turning out to be the second largest reason of fast depleting forest cover in Jammu and Kashmir, the data revealed.

 

The government, however, during the recently concluded autumn session of the state legislature said due to the conversion of a total of 875.6647 hectares of forest land into roads under the PMGSY, the Forest Department has undertaken various remedial measures to compensate the loss.

 

“In order to mitigate the damage of forests, compensatory afforestation on the degraded forests (equivalent to double the area of deforested land) is being done at suitable locations,” an official report said.

 

“To protect the new plants, effective fencing and other soil conservation measures have been adopted aiding in natural regeneration,” it added.

 

The report further said the provision of avenue plantation on either side along the road length passing through the forests is being done by the Forest Department.

 

The Forest Department has further directed the executing agency of the PMGSY in the state to construct the retaining/breast walls and take necessary steps to prevent soil erosion.

 

    Source :http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131015/j&k.htm#7