Bharatiya Janata Party Spokesperson & Chairperson Waqf Development Committee of Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India Dr Darakhshan Andrabi while reacting to the increased forest loot in many sectors of Jammu & Kashmir said that anti-social elements are hell bent upon destroying the green wealth of Jammu & Kashmir.
“During the Pandemic restrictions, smugglers have become pro-active and the loot of our jungles has increased manifold in J&K. During the early years of militancy, we saw a planned loot of forests which damaged our green treasure to an unimaginable level. Now again, we are seeing fresh trees falling in our jungles and there is no required deterrence from forest department to stop this loot”, said Dr Darakhshan Andrabi.
She said that it was shocking to watch the videos of cutting-down of young tress & the transportation of the smuggled forest wealth on horses and tippers in different hilly areas of J&K, while we all were busy in the formal celebrations on World Environment Day yesterday. “I am shocked to see the latest videos of molestation of our forests and appeal to the LG to take this issue on priority and devise measures for stopping this loot without any more laxity to the smugglers,” said Dr Andrabi.
She demanded that the smugglers be booked under stringent forest laws so that nobody dares to destroy our unique ecosystem. Dr Andrabi appealed to the forest authorities to wake up from slumber and leave their huts and posh offices and visit the areas where they were needed. She also appealed to local civil society members to play their role in stopping the smuggling of forest-gold. “J&K is a hilly unit and forests play important role in our environmental make-up. We need to protect our forests at all costs. Those living within forests and around forests have added responsibility of co-operating with the law-enforcing agencies to ensure the safety of our forests,” said Dr Darakhshan.