The principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) Jai Raj said that any encroachment on forest land should be removed without delay. He further said that action should also be take against illegal mining. The PCCF said this during a visit to the Sahastradhara area to check on reports of encroachments and illegal mining in the area on Tuesday.
Responding to complaints being received consistently by the forest department about illegal mining and encroachment, Raj visited Chamasari, Majhada, Silkoti, Bakralgaon and other parts of Sahastradhara area. The situation was not found to be satisfactory during the inspection. The PCCF directed the Mussoorie divisional forest officer to form a team in coordination with Dehradun forest division to survey the area and present a report on the status of encroachments within 15 days. He also directed that complaints regarding encroachment and illegal mining on forest land should be taken seriously and acted upon without delay.
In case of doubt regarding status of mining or construction at any place, the work should be stopped immediately and the status should be ascertained. It was also decided that during inspection by forest department staff, if encroachment is found also on civil land apart from the reserved forest area, the revenue department should be informed about it because the civil land is also government property. Officials were also instructed to ensure that during departmental action, inconvenience is not caused to any innocent person or members of the general public who observe the law.
Serious cognisance should also be taken of encroachments and illegal mining on riverbeds, nalas, mountains and other locations. This is vital as such lands can either be forest or revenue land and illegal mining activity in rivers and streams can alter the course which can also create major problems apart from causing considerable environmental damage.
The boundary pillars on forest land should be repaired and special focus should be laid on areas liable to be encroached upon. In case any one claiming to be private land owner is suspected to be encroaching on reserved forest land for residential, non-residential or agricultural purposes, the department staff should check the land registry and related documents to ascertain the area registered in the said person’s name and whether reserved forest land is being encroached upon. Any encroachment on forest land should be identified and the encroachment should be removed, stressed the PCCF.
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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