2801.23 hectares of forest land retrieved in 3 yrs: Lal Singh

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JAMMU, JAN 11: Minister for Forest, Ecology & Environment Choudhary Lal Singh Wednesday said 2801.23 hectares of forest land of total recorded encroachment of 14345 hectares has been retrieved during past three years across the state.
The Minister also said that total recorded encroachment on forest land in Jammu city and outskirts of Jammu district is 243.00 hectares, of which 99.50 hectares have been got evicted during this period.
The Minister was replying to a question by MLA Rajesh Gupta in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday. 
Elaborating further, the Minister said the Forest Department has also retrieved 2903.65 hectares unrecorded/freshly encroached land across Jammu region and 205 hectares in Jammu city and its outskirts, in last 2 years.
The Minister said that during the eviction drive in Jammu district, the department lodged 7 FIRs, while three persons were injured and 4 vehicles damaged in the course of eviction. He also informed that 52 court cases were also filed against the encroachers.
Regarding the steps taken for protection against further encroachment, he said 14700 rft encroachment-prone area has been fenced in last few years in the district.
In reply to another question, the Minister said that no record could be established about 3000 kanals of forest and other land allotted to Gujjar Bakerwal nomads in 1970s for their permanent settlement under the name of Dhodhi Colony.
"However as per Nishandehi exercise carried out by  Divisional Commissioner Jammu vide his no div.com/RA/01 of 2015 dated 08-10-2015 in response to the directions of the Supreme Court, a Gujjar colony under Khasra no 372 over an area 42 kanals 13 marlas of state land is existing in Sunjwan area. No forest land is involved under this colony as per this Nishandehi report", Minister said.
Legislators Sukhnandan Choudhary, Er Rashid, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat and Rajiv Jasrotia raised supplementary questions regarding their respective constituencies.

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