Budgam: Forest Department especially State Forest Corporation (SFC) is under scanner as more than 400 forest trees (Kail) have been cut down in Laden and Buzgoo areas of Budgam district under the garb of laying 440 KV transmission line from Samba to Amargrah.
Out of the 400 axed trees sources say that more than 200 felled trees are missing.
As reported on August 18th the role of Jammu & Kashmir Forest department is under scanner as the department has allegedly failed to recover adequate compensation from the power company Sterlite Power which is executing a project under Northern Region System Strengthening Scheme (NRSS-29).
Sources have revealed that hundreds of forest trees have been axed from Baramulla to Rajouri.
The transmission line of the NRSS -29 passes through 11 districts of state including Budgam, Shopian, Poonch and Rajouri.
In Laden and Buzgoo villages alone more than 400 trees have been axed. Early Times is in possession of photos and videos of this destruction.
Sources say that in most of the forest areas local Forestors, Range Officers and even Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) have not made the actual assessment of damages caused to Forests.
The State Forest Corporation (SFC) which as per sources is undertaking the felling of tress has even failed to recover the compensation in many Forest blocks and ranges which has not only caused damage to environment but has caused a loot to state exchequer also.
As reported already the contracting agencies namely M/S Sterlite and M/S Unitech are allegedly involved in illegal practice of giving huge bribes to Govt officials especially from Forest, Revenue and Police departments.
Affected villagers and farmers in many villages allege that majority of the affected farmers are not paid compensation at all while as their land has been turned useless whose commercial value is at stake now.
NRSS 29 is a project that is executing Jallandhar Samba Amargarh power transmission line.
As per the DPR the project is to get completed by October 2018 but inspite of work going on at full pace in Baramulla and Budgam districts especially, the company may fail to complete the work by October 2018.
Local residents in Budgam and Baramulla allege that the payment of fair compensation is made only to blue eyed people.
Sources say that at many places the line passes over agricultural / horticulture land but no compensation has been paid as the commercial and agricultural value of land has come down drastically.