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July 23, 2019 01:30:00 |

Green gold

Police Sunday told a local news agency that during nocturnal raids they had arrested 15 timber smugglers who were involved in different cases in Sopore’s Charehaar village. Timber smuggling has been going on for long time and across the state with the forest officials’ impotency to stop the depletion of the forest cover. Not only smugglers, the forests in Kashmir also had to bear the brunt of the violence as large swathes, like Tosa Maidan, were used in the past as military firing ranges. With politics and conflict taking the centre-stage in Kashmir, environmental and ecological concerns have been pushed into oblivion, which is fraught with danger. From diminishing forest and agriculture lands to pollution to unabated encroachment of public property, the state is battling with different crises that have afflicted the people from time to time in the form of man-made disasters. The state has been losing the needed forest cover with the illegal timber smuggling robbing the state of the green zones. The state government, perhaps having realized the disappearing green cover, has lately stressed on launching green or plantation drive in Kashmir. Ideally the forest department must on its own be able to deal with the situation, which is illegal felling of trees and their smuggling. However, without help from police the role of the forest guards is obsolete. As the green cover keeps on disappearing it has also threatened the survival of wild species that inhabit the forests in the state. There have been more man-animal conflicts reported in last few years, which is an indicator of reduced forest area and diminishing habitat of several wild animal species here. The records regarding the forest area, number and health of trees, etc., are awfully managed and accountability is at the bottom. With the police engaged in a number of other tasks including counter-insurgency operations, the smugglers find it easy to carry out their nefarious activities. Overall it is the environment that faces real and imminent danger. There are numerous studies and researches pointing to sudden and unpredictable climate changes due to deforestation and unbridled carbon emissions. Lightning storms, flash floods and landslides claim more lives than in the past. If the law enforcement agencies don’t wake up to the call of the wild, the state may witness a major disaster, like the massive floods of 2014, soon. Concerted efforts from state police and forest department are needed to stop the loot of the green gold in valley.          

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July 23, 2019 01:30:00 |

Green gold

              

Police Sunday told a local news agency that during nocturnal raids they had arrested 15 timber smugglers who were involved in different cases in Sopore’s Charehaar village. Timber smuggling has been going on for long time and across the state with the forest officials’ impotency to stop the depletion of the forest cover. Not only smugglers, the forests in Kashmir also had to bear the brunt of the violence as large swathes, like Tosa Maidan, were used in the past as military firing ranges. With politics and conflict taking the centre-stage in Kashmir, environmental and ecological concerns have been pushed into oblivion, which is fraught with danger. From diminishing forest and agriculture lands to pollution to unabated encroachment of public property, the state is battling with different crises that have afflicted the people from time to time in the form of man-made disasters. The state has been losing the needed forest cover with the illegal timber smuggling robbing the state of the green zones. The state government, perhaps having realized the disappearing green cover, has lately stressed on launching green or plantation drive in Kashmir. Ideally the forest department must on its own be able to deal with the situation, which is illegal felling of trees and their smuggling. However, without help from police the role of the forest guards is obsolete. As the green cover keeps on disappearing it has also threatened the survival of wild species that inhabit the forests in the state. There have been more man-animal conflicts reported in last few years, which is an indicator of reduced forest area and diminishing habitat of several wild animal species here. The records regarding the forest area, number and health of trees, etc., are awfully managed and accountability is at the bottom. With the police engaged in a number of other tasks including counter-insurgency operations, the smugglers find it easy to carry out their nefarious activities. Overall it is the environment that faces real and imminent danger. There are numerous studies and researches pointing to sudden and unpredictable climate changes due to deforestation and unbridled carbon emissions. Lightning storms, flash floods and landslides claim more lives than in the past. If the law enforcement agencies don’t wake up to the call of the wild, the state may witness a major disaster, like the massive floods of 2014, soon. Concerted efforts from state police and forest department are needed to stop the loot of the green gold in valley.          

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