Ganderbal: The final report with regard to chopping down of trees by Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd responsible for the construction of 14.5 kilometer Zojila Tunel will be submitted within 2 to 3 days, said an official today.
The Committee constituted under the supervision of Range Officer Sindh Forest, Feroz Ahmed Malik was supposed to submit the report within 3 days since its formation. However, the Committee failed to submit the same even after the expiry of over a week.
As reported earlier, Division Forest Officer Ganderbal had constituted a Committee to ascertain the facts after the then Forest Officer Sonmarg Abdul Gani had informed the higher ups that Agency constructing Zojila Tunnel, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd has chopped down over 300 ‘trees’ without seeking permission from the Forest Department.
Ironically, the said Forest Officer was later removed and transferred to other place. He was blamed that he didn’t send the report in time.
There is road passing through the forest area of Nilgrath where these trees have been cut down by the Agency without seeking permission from the Forest Department.
Top Forest officials have already visited the spot while some of them claimed that Agency has cut down saplings not trees.
Assistant Director, Forest Protection Force, Ganderbal, Muhammad Younis Kumar who is one of the Committee members told News Agency Kashmir News Trust that they will submit a fact finding report within 2 or 3 days.
“We are in touch the Agency officials and have almost visited every area,” he said most of the trees cut down are saplings.
When asked why it is taking so much time to submit the report, Kumar said that they are filing a report that is truly based on facts while three days were not enough for it.
Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd has already said that no trees were cut down by it, while DFO Ganderbal said that ‘minor’ violations have taken place.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir RTI Movement has demanded that the culprits particularly the construction company and local Government agencies which have paved way for cutting down of green trees near Zojila Tunnel in Sonmarg area be taken to task as the said act is an open violation of forest and environmental laws. It has threatened to l move to National Green Tribunal if Government fails to act. (KNT)