PCCF reviews functioning of Forest Deptt, FPF

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Apr 23: Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Dr. Mohit Gera, held a review meeting, through web conferencing, regarding functioning of Forest Department and Forest Protection Force (FPF) in Kashmir region and to monitor the measures being taken up for protection of forests in view of ongoing lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The participants in the meeting were Director, Forest Protection Force Asif Mehmood Sagar; Chief Conservator of Forests, Kashmir, Farooq Ahmad Gillani, besides all Conservator of Forests, DFOs and officers of Forest Protection Force, Kashmir.
Chief Conservator of Forests apprised that in spite of unprecedented lockdown situation, staff of Forest Department is performing their duties efficiently and are keeping a strict vigil in the field. He informed that immediate necessary cognizance is being taken against any incidence of illicit damage to the forest wealth.
Conservator of Forests, North Circle informed that there are incidences of illicit damage in few vulnerable localities like Kandi, Doabgah, Rafiabad and Rajwar ranges. He informed that cases are being registered and FIRs lodged against such forest offenders.
Director, Forest Protection Force asserted that FPF personnel are working in synchronization with territorial staff under supervision of concerned Conservator of Forests. He suggested measures like strengthening of joint patrolling of territorial and FPF personnel and use of troop carriers of FPF for ensuring safety of forests and its assets.
PCCF, exhorted the territorial DFOs to take all possible measures for ensuring further strengthening of the protection network, existing control rooms, increasing mobility of frontline staff, joint patrolling with FPF personnel, intelligence gathering, increase in frequency of monitoring of field staff and reporting by them. He further directed them to file dossiers under PSA in case of habitual offenders.
Chief Conservator of Forests and all Conservators of Forests were directed to regularly review the protection measures being taken up by DFOs to ensure protection of vulnerable forests. They were also advised to ensure that all precautions be taken by the staff in view of the COVID pandemic besides maintaining coordination with district administration in this regard.

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