No forest land encroachment in Srinagar, Shopian: DWP

‘Over 1000 square kms of forest land demarcated’

Irfan Tramboo
SRINAGAR, Nov 20: The Department of Wildlife Protection (DWP) has revealed that there has been no encroachment of the forest land falling in Wildlife Division Srinagar and Shopian except for a few instances in which due action has been taken.
In response to an RTI application, it has been stated that there have been no instances of encroachment on forest land in district Srinagar, noting that only one case of attempted illegal encroachment has been reported from village Laribal Shikargah, adjacent to Tral Wildlife Sanctuary.
In this regard, the response stated that the cognizance was taken, and the area covering 0.5 kanals of forest land was retrieved and the case was registered against the culprit.
About the forest land which has been demarcated, the Department of Wildlife Protection stated that over a thousand square kilometres of forest land falling in these districts of Kashmir has been demarcated, which includes 141 square kilometres in Dachigam, 9.07 square kilometres of city forest, 15.75 square kilometres in Brein Nishat, 34 square kilometres in Khimber, Dara and Shahrasbal.
Further, it has been stated in Thajwas 210 square kilometres of the forest land stands demarcated, 12 square kilometres in Wangath, Chattergul, 50.25 square kilometres in Khrew and 67 square kilometres in Khonmoh. In Shopian, the Department stated that 341.25 square kilometres have been demarcated along with the 154.15 square kilometres in Pulwama.
With regard to the transfer of land by the Department of Wildlife Protection to other departments and agencies, it has been given out that till August this year, in the central division, Srinagar, 0.1 hectares of land in Check Dara and 0.467 hectares for WSS Sonamarg.
Concerning the Shopian Wildlife Division, the RTI reply reveals, that 0.036 hectares of land has been transferred to the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, which was earlier falling under the Tral Wildlife Sanctuary and 67.81 hectares of land has been transferred to PWD, earlier falling under the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary.
On the query of the details regarding the plantation projects and their success rate, the department has revealed that in the year 2022-23, 53000 trees were planted in district Srinagar and 25000 in Pulwama through contractor and in 2023-24 so far 12000 and 24000 trees were planted respectively. However, the success rate has not been provided,
In the Shopian Wildlife Division, however, it has been stated that in 2021, 3 plantation closures were set up which had a success rate of 45 per cent, and 6 in 2022 with a success rate of 50 per cent.