10 concrete structures demolished, 200 kanals Forest land retrieved

A Forest JCB demolishing concrete illegal structure raised by land grabbers at Dwara in Sidhra area of Jammu on Saturday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
A Forest JCB demolishing concrete illegal structure raised by land grabbers at Dwara in Sidhra area of Jammu on Saturday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Major crack down by Forest Deptt, Police in Sidhra

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Nov 16: In a major crack down in Dwara area of Sidhra, just adjoining Golf Course at the bank of river Tawi, the Forest Department staff and Police along with Revenue officials today retrieved over 200 kanals of forest land and demolished 10 Pucca structures using JCBs.
Official sources said that Forest Department in a joint operation launched this morning at village Dwara, in Compartment No. 65/B of Bahu Range, under Jammu Forest Division, demolished 10 illegal structures. There was stiff resistance from the locals of the area when the officials landed the locality along with two JCBs and police.
The police party led by SDPO East, Rajinder Singh Rahi and SHO , Bagh-e-Bahu, Sunil Sharma controlled the tense situation. The people have raised pucca structures there despite the fact that this area was cleared by the Forest Department twice during last seven years. But it was re-grabbed by the people with the active connivance of some field staff of the Forest Department. On earlier occasion, about 1200 kanal area of Forest land was retrieved and scores of structures were razed to the ground.
The team led by DFO Jammu, Alok Kumar Maurya under the supervision of Sameer Bharti, CCF Jammu during day long operation, cleared 10 structures and cleared 200 kanals of land while this operation is said to be continued for the next couple of days. This vast Forest area which was re-grabbed twice by the people by raising pucca houses is now being developed as a ‘City Forest’ by removing illegal encroachments and demolishing structures. But already a massive damage has been caused to this forest cover, under the nose of Forest department field staff.
Maurya said that the Forest teams were led by Range Officer Bahu, Nayeem Naik, Range Officer Jammu Vijay Khosla, Block Officer Bahu Anwar Mohd, along with Forest field staff and Forest Protection Force (FPF) personnel.
He said on the request of Forest Department, SSP Jammu Tejinder Singh, deployed a police party headed by SDPO East who provided assistance for the operation. Deputy Commissioner Jammu Sushma Chouhan deputed Duty Magistrate Shiv Kumar Gupta (Naib Tehsildar) along with some staff to tackle law and order situation. Today 10 illegal structures constructed on Forest land were demolished and 200 kanal of area was vacated but this operation will continue in future, he added.
Replying to a question the DFO said that earlier many structures were demolished in a joint operation carried out by Forest, Revenue and Police departments, wherein, hundreds of kanal of forest land falling in Compartment No. 65 of Bahu Forest Range, falling in village Dwara in Sidhra was evicted and also properly fenced to save it from any further encroachment. But later people breached fence at several places.
He further added that Forest Offence Report (FOR) has also been registered against the land grabbers including a police personal. Also, the department is taking all the measures to prevent encroachment on Forest land.
He said that CCF Jammu Sameer Bharti and Conservator of Forests Jammu East Circle, Samuel Changkija were continuously monitoring the operation and appreciated the staff of Jammu Forest Division for successful completion of today’s task.