JK among low­est green states of In­dia

The Northlines - - FRONT PAGE - NL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

As most for­est land is with­out de­mar­ca­tion in Jammu and Kash­mir, there has been rapid di­min­ish­ing of green gold in the state.

This could be gauged from the fact that Jammu and Kash­mir does not fig­ure among the top 15 green states of the coun­try.

It has been seven years since a pro­posal was made for de­mar­ca­tion of for­est land. How­ever, the Gov­ern­ment has failed to im­ple­ment the project in the state.

An of­fi­cial of the For­est De­part­ment told Kash­mir News Ser­vice (KNS) that ar­ti­fi­cial bound­aries are de­mar­cated around for­est land at sev­eral place in the state. "Half of the for­est land is open with­out any de­mar­ca­tion," the of­fi­cial said.

The of­fi­cial said that thou­sands of kanals of for­est land are still un­der en­croach­ment and gov­ern­ment has failed to re­trieve that from en­croach­ers.

He said that the in­crease in for­est fires hap­pen due to non-de­mar­ca­tion of for­est land in the state. "Had the forests been de­mar­cated in the state, less such in­ci­dents would have hap­pened," the of­fi­cial said. He said the ar­ti­fi­cial de­mar­ca­tion of its bound­aries was done at few places and the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion was also re­sid­ing in its area at sev­eral places, pos­ing a se­ri­ous threat to its species.

The recorded for­est area is 20230 sq. kms, which con­sti­tutes 19.95 % of geo­graph­i­cal area of the state. At the same time, the state does not fig­ure among the top 15 green states in In­dia due to de­creas­ing of green gold of the state.

As per the lat­est study by the For­est Sur­vey of In­dia, ti­tled 'In­dia State of For­est -2017', only 15 states in the coun­try made it to the list of the most-green states, each of which have more than 33 per cent of their oc­cu­pied by forests.

Lak­shad­weep is at the top with 90 per cent for­est cover, fol­lowed by Mi­zo­ram, An­daman and Ni­co­bar Is­lands, Arunachal Pradesh and Ma­nipur with 86.27 %, 81.73 %, 79.96 %, and 77.69 %, re­spec­tively.

The list mostly com­prises of north-eastern states of In­dia in­clud­ing As­sam, Sikkim, Na­ga­land, and Megha­laya.

Jammu and Kash­mir at present has its for­est cover stretch­ing over 23,241 square kilo­me­ters, which is 10.46 per cent of its to­tal geo­graph­i­cal area of 1,01,387 square kilo­me­ters. (KNS)

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