Srinagar, Oct 20: Jammu and Kashmir has been losing forests as government has failed to take concrete steps on the ground for the preservation.
Kashmir was one of the richest regions across India with regard to flora and fauna. However, the number of plants is shrinking. Despite government’s claims about planting trees along the roads but not much is visible on the roads.
Take instance in Srinagar city, greenery along the roads which could help in reducing growing pollution could not be find.
The government has been spending a huge amount of money on planting trees and saplings to beautify the streets of Srinagar. However, the saplings dry or are stolen.
The three nodal agencies are responsible for the maintenance of the saplings, the Forest Department, Urban Forest Department and the Roads and Buildings Department (landscape division) seem not doing much on the ground.
An official of Forest Department said government has been spending crores on plantation every year but fails to keep its maintenance.
“These departments also face shortage of staff to keep the maintenance,” he said.
The National Green Tribunal has also rapped the National Highways Authority of India for not maintaining the mandatory green cover along national and state highways.
The Forest Policy also stresses plantation of trees alongside roads, railway lines, and rivers.
However, not many plants are along roads in the Valley. Even the government has failed to plant trees along the highways, which is mandatory as per National Green Tribunal directives.
In Srinagar, major roads are without greenery.
Bashir Ahmad, a school teacher said planting saplings would be of no use unless government makes efforts for their maintenance.
“We have lost our green forests to a great extent. If immediate measures are not taken for preservation of trees, it will have serious consequences in the future,” he said.
When contacted, J&K Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Mohit Gera said many measures have been taken for preservation of forests. (KINS)