RAMNAGAR, May 19: Observing that the unscrupulous contractors and the wayward officials of executive department have been basking under excuse of ‘Forest clearance’ with the projects running out their timeline, cost escalations and ultimately their public utility too, former MLA and State BJP Spokesperson, R S Pathania today demanded simpler and faster mechanism for clearance of projects by Forest Department.
“Although the Department of Forests has its stake and say in the declared forest areas but the people living amongst forest areas do have a right to have access to basic amenities of life – road connectivity, drinking water, electricity, irrigation and other facilities,” Pathania said while conducting an extensive tour of the area of Ramnagar and holding public interaction camps over there.
During the tour, Pathania gave a patient listening to the issues and grievances of the people who were highly critical of lackadaisical approach of Forest Department in clearing various public utility projects.
Pathania put forth instance of Ramnagar to Basantgarh road which was sanctioned under CRF but the Forest clearance of the road is still pending at the level of Chief Conservator office since the past more than two years. Similar is the case with roads sanctioned under CRF, Thial to Chountra Mata, Manwal to Pinger, Dalsar to Kaghote, Marta to Dheeran, Kulwanta to RC Peak etc, he added and also pointed towards the road from Basantgarh to Khaned which had been sanctioned more than a decade ago but no work could be started due to the irresponsible behavior of Department of Forests.
Pathania was also highly critical of the high-headed approach of the officers-that-be of Forest Department whereby they oftenly obstruct installation of electricity poles, laying of water pipes, mettaling of Kacha roads and even construction of tourist Sarais on one flimsy excuse or the other or as if the Department of Forest is trying to act as a ‘parallel Government’ or ‘State within the State’ in J&K.
Prominent among those who accompanied Pathania, included Rajinder Sharma, Sham Lal Verma, Jagmohan Singh, Raj Gopal, Kartar Chand, Shounku Kharka, Sunil Kumar, Rameez Sheikh and others.