Srinagar, Nov 08: As most forest land is without demarcation in Jammu and Kashmir, there has been rapid diminishing of green gold in the state.
This could be gauged from the fact that Jammu and Kashmir does not figure among the top 15 green states of the country.
It has been seven years since a proposal was made for demarcation of forest land. However, the Government has failed to implement the project in the state.
An official of the Forest Department told Kashmir News Service (KNS) that artificial boundaries are demarcated around forest land at several place in the state. “Half of the forest land is open without any demarcation,” the official said.
The official said that thousands of kanals of forest land are still under encroachment and government has failed to retrieve that from encroachers.
He said that the increase in forest fires happen due to non-demarcation of forest land in the state. “Had the forests been demarcated in the state, less such incidents would have happened,” the official said.
He said the artificial demarcation of its boundaries was done at few places and the civilian population was also residing in its area at several places, posing a serious threat to its species.
The recorded forest area is 20230 sq. kms, which constitutes 19.95 % of geographical area of the state.
At the same time, the state does not figure among the top 15 green states in India due to decreasing of green gold of the state.
As per the latest study by the Forest Survey of India, titled ‘India State of Forest -2017’, only 15 states in the country made it to the list of the most-green states, each of which have more than 33 per cent of their occupied by forests.
Lakshadweep is at the top with 90 per cent forest cover, followed by Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur with 86.27 %, 81.73 %, 79.96 %, and 77.69 %, respectively.
The list mostly comprises of north-eastern states of India including Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Meghalaya.
Jammu and Kashmir at present has its forest cover stretching over 23,241 square kilometers, which is 10.46 per cent of its total geographical area of 1,01,387 square kilometers.