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Panel formed for creation of land bank for compensatory afforestation

City forests; green spaces; valuable land susceptible to encroachment to be given preference
01:59 AM May 03, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
panel formed for creation of land bank for compensatory afforestation
GK/File
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Jammu, May 2: Lands adjacent to forests with potential for city forest or green spaces and valuable land susceptible to encroachment, which should be preserved as green lungs for the habitation, will be given preference for inclusion in the land bank for compensatory afforestation in J&K.

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Job to identify such areas besides other specified areas has been entrusted to a panel constituted by the J&K government for creation of land bank of suitable non-forest land and revenue forest land for compensatory afforestation in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purposes under Van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan) Adhiniyam, 1980, in the Union Territory.

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The committee, which will have Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & HoFF, J&K as its chairman, will identify the forest, non-forest lands, wastelands and all other such categories of non-forest lands or wastelands not under the management or administrative control of the J&K Forest department on which the provisions of the Van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan) Adhiniyam, 1980 and Van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan) Rules, 2023 are applicable, for inclusion in the proposed land bank for compensatory afforestation.

These areas will include revenue lands - Gair Mumkin khaad, Gair Mumkin Jungle, Gair Mumkin Pahar, Banjar Kadim, Gair Mumkin Khad etc., and any other waste lands and non-forest lands which are under undisputed possession of the Revenue department.

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Besides, areas falling in wildlife corridors to improve connectivity between habitats; areas in and around the Protected Areas (PAs) and Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ) of Protected Areas to ensure consolidation of such areas; habitat of rare, threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna located in the areas not under direct administrative and management control of the J&K Forest and J&K Wildlife Protection Departments to ensure long term conservation of such habitats and areas falling in catchment areas of important rivers, water supply schemes, irrigation projects, hydro-electric projects, etc.

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As per the order, private lands recorded as GM Jhaar, Khad, Phat etc. which are in the possession of private persons, also need to be seen in its legal perspective, while creating land bank.

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PCCF/Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K; Director, Department of Ecology, Environment & Remote Sensing, J&K; Additional Secretary to the Government, Revenue Department (dealing with land matters);a representative of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir and Jammu (not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner); Administrative Officer in the office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue, J&K Member and Special Secretary (Technical), Forest, Ecology and Environment department will be its members.

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The committee has also been tasked to devise a mechanism for dealing with requisitions of land from the Revenue department and furnish monthly reports to Department of Forest, Ecology & Environment and Revenue Department, as also development of software for the purpose with access-based updation and report generation and a dashboard for the same.

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