JAMMU: Belying the tall claims of Forest Department officials from ‘Beat Guard’ to concerned ‘Minister’ about the protection of forest wealth and its damage from the cutting and encroachments, the pictures taken by the JK MONITOR’s field team members, clearly show that the departmental officials are working against the basic purpose of this department and helping encroachments and cutting green trees which is proving dangerous for the survival of mankind and the wild animals and further resulting in Man-Animal conflict.
Preliminary investigations reveal that the officials concerned from ‘Beat Guard’ to Range or Division level, instead of acting on behalf of the department prefer to favour encroachers and forest mafia for which they allegedly charge money from these enemies of forest and nature.
It seems that this department has turned into a public assistance department where all possible support is provided to those who encroaches forest land. Interestingly, whenever there is hue and cry or if the matter is reported in media or highlighted through any medium, the department representative initiates a formal inquiry and later get an affidavit from the encroacher that, he will not further dig or encroach the forest land.
This simply established that whatever an encroacher encroaches that is ok with the department but shall not move further. Such kind of favour to the encroacher, speaks volumes about the intentions of officials concerned and the hidden reasons not to take any action, can be judged easily.
It has become now routine, to set trees on fire so they dry and the land can be converted into agriculture land, this all is done with free hand as officials at the helm of affairs allegedly give priority to accumulate money through all means and have no concern for the forest and its produce.