Directs for Van Mitra Program,Wetland-pilgrim Tourism and development of Wood based Industries in Pulwama
Conservator of Forests, Kashmir South Kashmir Shri Irfan Ali Shah,IFS today reviewed functioning of Forest Department in Awantipora Forest Division,Pulwama. All Forest officers including Range officers of Division attended the meeting.
The Conservator of Forests laid stress on making progress on approved deliverables for the Forest Department for the current year. He stressed on conservation, management and development of water bodies under Mission Amrit Sarovars inside forests and directed for maintaining these waterbodies for the benefit of people and forests. He emphasized on institutionalizing and adapting of “Van se Jal aur Jal se Jeevan” concepts.Range officers were directed to prepare for ceremonial plantation drives to be carried out at the identified Amrit Sarovar sites on 15th August, 2022 involving all stakeholders including PRIs.
The deliverable under theme “Qabza Mukht Janglaat” was also discussed.CoF directed for taking immediate necessary steps for retrieval of all encroached Forest land in District Pulwama including in Khrew,Khunmoh, Pampore,Tral forests in a time bound manner and booking of encroachers under the provisions of Indian Forest Act.
The Conservator of Forests also directed for identifying and development of new trekking routes for nature lovers and hikers including Shikargah trail,Wustirwan and beyond,Khunmoh, Khrew,Tral,Naristaan heights .He further directed for identification of suitable sites for construction of new Forest Rest houses in Tral,Pampore ranges for local people as well as tourists and stressed on facilitating online bookings through awareness programs for promotion of sustainable Eco-tourism in District Pulwama.He also directed for organizing of Eco-Tourism festivals in collaboration with District Administration Pulwama for promoting sustainable Eco-Tourism activities in District Pulwama.He directed for initiating wetland cum pilgrim based Tourism activities in Pampore Range.CoF also directed for accelerating steps being taken in District Pulwama for Polythene and Plastic free forests.
Mr Shah also reviewed Forest Protection in District Pulwama and stressed on protection of forests and dealing with habitual forest damagers/timber smugglers with iron hand. The Officers were directed to maintain proper coordination to deal with the protection scenario especially in the remote areas of Tral,Naristaan so as to ensure zero tolerance towards illicit forest damages. He also directed to book Forest damagers and encroachers under Public Safety Act irrespective of affiliations and no mercy be shown to forest encroachers and damagers.
Mr Shah also directed to organize an outreach programme on creating of livelihoods , in consultation with the District Administration Pulwama and experts and officers from National Rural Livelihoods Mission. He said alternate fuel energy and livelihoods support kits shall be provided to forest fringe communities especially Tribal communities in Pampore and Tral range under this mission. He also directed for initiating Forest based livelihood support programe to address poverty related issues especially of Tribal and forest fringe communities.
The Conservator of Forests stressed on expediting the process of scrutinizing both individual as well as Community claims under Forest Rights Act, 2006. He stressed on protection of rights and interests of Tribal Communities including Gujjar, Bakerwal and other Traditional Forest Dwellers in District Pulwama.He directed for organising awareness program on FRA in all forest blocks of Tral range.
Mr Shah also directed for development of Biodiversity Conservation Park in Pampore Range as a part of Forest recreation and biodiversity conservation Initiative.