By: Sameer Showkin Lone
Srinagar: The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Kokernag has come up with an interesting order to save the plants and trees coming in the way of anti-encroachment drives.
In an order issued by the SDM Er Sarib Sehran, a copy of which is with the Precious Kashmir reads the departments like Revenue, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) resort to cutting of trees while performing their official duties like removal of encroachments, clearance for construction of roads etc.
The order further states that Kokernag Sub Division has a forest rich and forest dependent co-existence with an environment which is delicately balanced and any disturbance in this critical balance can lead to long term adverse impacts not only for the environment,flora and Fauna but also the local population.
Keeping the eco-sensitivity of the area in consideration, it has been directed that while cutting a single tree in the process of discharging their official duties, the concerned Officers/ Officials
/Departments/Agencies shall plant at least five trees to compensate for the loss of the one tree cut as such.
Furthermore, the concerned jurisdictional Tehsildar shall be apprised of such drives and a monthly record of cutting down of trees and compensatory afforestation, seasonal plan thereof shall be submitted to the office on a quarterly basis.
“I was impressed by Delhi Metro Compensatory Afforestation so will be implementing it here, as various major projects are coming up here now,” Sehran said.
The order will help in saving a number of plantations along the NH-244 (Doda-Kishtwar-Anantnag highway, an alternate connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar).
A large portion of the highway, on which the construction work is in full pace passes through Kokernag sub-division, which is part of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Along the highway fall several famous tourist destinations like Kokernag, Daksum and Sinthan Top etc.
“In most of the road projects trees are cut down mercilessly. It is a good initiative to preserve trees and wherever it is not possible to save a tree, the compensatory plantation is a must. We need trees as much as we need roads,” said Ishtiyaq Ahmad, a local.