Forest Cover Decreasing, Encroachments Increasing: J&K HC Directs Forest Department To Take Urgent Steps [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesForest Cover Decreasing, Encroachments Increasing: J&K HC Directs Forest Department To Take Urgent Steps [Read Order] Akshita Saxena7 Oct 2020 9:40 PMShare This – xExpressing concern over depleting forest cover in the J&K valley, the Single Bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal observed that urgent steps need to be taken by the UT administration to remedy the situation. The Court also observed that the manner of functioning of the Forest department in the valley is not very appreciable as they are not monitoring the forest areas to prevent…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginExpressing concern over depleting forest cover in the J&K valley, the Single Bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal observed that urgent steps need to be taken by the UT administration to remedy the situation. The Court also observed that the manner of functioning of the Forest department in the valley is not very appreciable as they are not monitoring the forest areas to prevent illegal encroachment. “This Court is constrained to observe that the way the forest department is working cannot be appreciated. It has large area under its control in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir but unfortunately, not being monitored properly through there are ways and means to do the same. Forest cover is decreasing as encroachments are increasing day by day. Illegal forest cutting is also rampant. Some urgent steps are required to be taken to take care of our green cover,” Justice Bindal remarked. He was hearing a writ petition filed by one Mohammad Sadiq Wani, seeking a direction upon the forest authorities to extend the period of his permission for extraction/collection of non-timber forest produce (NTFP) from Marwah Forest Division. Noting that there was no established yardstick for execution of contract for extraction and that extensions were granted arbitrarily, the Court said, “On year to year basis, the contracts are awarded for extraction/collection and removal of NTFP…In such a situation, how extension for extraction/removal of NTFP can envisaged is a mystery. It cannot be comprehended as to how at the same time two persons can be allowed to extract and remove NTFP, from the same area. This may create dispute amongst the contractors.” The Court held that these aspects of the matter are required to be examined at the highest level, so as to ascertain whether there has been annual award of contracts and if not, whether there were good reasons for the same. The Bench observed, “Fool proof method or removal are also required to be put in place. Under what circumstances, the contractor, who had been awarded contract for extraction of NTFP for a particular period can be granted extension when the period of extension may overlap with the period for which next year’s contract may be awarded.” Accordingly, the Forest Secretary to the UT Administration and the Chief Conservator of Forests in the valley have been directed to take appropriate action in the matter.However, no relief was granted to the Petitioner for availability of an “effective alternate remedy” already provided in his extraction contract in the form of arbitration. Click Here To Download Order Read Order Next Storylast_img

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *