Div Com directs DCs, DFOs to expedite clearance of Khair Trees felling

Jammu: Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer on Tuesday chaired a meeting of Deputy Commissioners to review the management plan for felling of Khair trees (Acacia Catechu) grown on non-Forest land in Jammu division.The meeting was attended in person by Chief Conservator of Forest, B M Sharma; Additional Commissioner Jammu, Pawan Sharma; DFO Jammu, Anoop Soni; ACR Jammu, Vijay Sharma.The Deputy Commissioners of Kathua, Samba, Reasi and Udhampur, Rajouri along with DFOs and Assistant Commissioner Revenue participated through video conferencing.The meeting had threadbare discussion on the issues pertaining to the Management Plan, Status of Khair growing on non-Forest lands in the division and issues pertaining to the felling of Khair trees etc.It was informed in the meeting that a total of 1957 applications received in total 53 notified villages out of which 1957 have been forwarded to concerned Revenue Authorities while 106 applications received back from Revenue authorities. All DCs apprised that the pendency was on account of engagement of Tehsildars and other staff in the ongoing Covid-19 mitigation efforts.

Reviewing the cases of permissions for felling Khair trees, the Div Com took strong note of the pending permission applications in the districts and directed the Deputy Commissioners to facilitate permissions and expedite the title verification process and other revenue exercises within one week; so that the cases are sent to Chief Conservator of Forest.Pertinently, various delegations of PRIs approached the Divisional Commissioner office with the demand to get title verifications done expeditiously by the revenue officers.Khair grows in subtropical areas of Jammu region of UT is an important cash crop for the farmers, especially in Kandi zones. It comes profusely in non irrigated lands and thus plays an important role in compensating the farmers for their less productive land. Khair exists in the nine territorial divisions viz; Reasi, Mahore, Udhampur, Ramnagar, Rajouri, Nowshera, Jammu, Kathua and Billawar these divisions spread over six districts viz Reasi, Rajouri, Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur.The Div Com said that the roaster is defined in SRO 111 of 2016 for grant of approvals to the permissions of felling of Khair Trees.

As per SRO no Khair tree shall be felled or converted for any purpose without permission granted under the said rules. As per SRO no Khair tree/wood shall be used for any purpose except in accordance with the provisions made under SRO, he added. It was informed that several applications arepending with the DFOs and Tehsildar concerned for grant of approval.The Divisional Commissioner emphasized on close coordination between Revenue and Forest officials for expeditious clearance of permission cases. He directed DCs and DFOs to process all the pending cases and get enumeration done simultaneously with the demarcation.The Revenue heads of Districts were instructed to expedite the title verification process and other revenue recommendations and send all the cases to the Chief Conservator of Forest for grant of final approvals.The Div Com also asked the DCs to reject cases where state land is involved.



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