STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: A five Judges Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) headed by its Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel on Friday observed that grievance in the application filed by two students namely Aavin Kumar Chadgal and Satyam Arora is against expansion of Jammu and Kashmir High Court premises by using the forest land without following the due process of law therefore before considering the matter, it is necessary to get a factual and action taken report to be furnished in the matter by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Jammu and Kashmir within one month by email at [email protected] The applicants have sought directions for respondents not to initiate the work at the allotted forest land measuring 813 Marlas situated at Bahu and Raika Tehsil and District, Jammu for expansion of High Court till the final disposal of the case by this Tribunal. In the application it was also submitted that the Registrar General J&K High Court vide communication No. 18309/INFRT dated October 10, 2019 urged Commissioner/Secretary for allotment of land for expansion of Judicial infrastructure at Jammu. It has been further submitted that to rely on the aforesaid order, the respondent vide its communication No. LD(STS)20l8/219/19/HC/263 dated October 11, 2019 approached the Chief Conservator of Forest, Department of Forest, Ecology and Wild Life Jammu for allotting forest land measuring 813 Kanals and 13 Marlas at village Bahu and Raika, Jammu. It is further submitted that the aforesaid land immaculately falls under Bahu Game/Conservative Reserve. “Also, Bamboo species which are at the verge of extinction in Jammu region are found there and for the purpose of expansion of judicial infrastructure at Jammu region on land measuring 813 kanals and 13 marlas, thousands of trees will be axed down which will cause a great deforestation that could be irreparable. Moreover, the Bahu Game/Conservation Reserve is the biggest forest reserve in Jammu region widely spread over 19.75 square Km. If this forest land will be deforested, it will adversely affect the environment of Jammu region, as the Bahu Game/Conservation Reserve is said to be the lungs of Jammu region as it acts as a source of fresh air. The deforestation will apparently cause a rise in the pollution level of region and that will further increase in an indefinite manner. Raika is in the middle of the Bahu Game/Conservation Reserve having an opulence of pertinent medicinal plants. But same has been overlooked by the respondents and a rare species of flora and fauna is found in Bahu Conservation Reserve. Also, a rare species of birds are also found here, which is already on the verge of extinction. Bahu Conservation Reserve provides a green cover to Jammu region which will get blown up by this deforestation and the Jammu region will turn into a gas chamber just like Delhi. Whereas, the latest AQI of Jammu is 139 which is categorised under unhealthy for sensitive groups, which will further raise and the loss will then turn irreparable. Bahu Game/Conservation Reserve is also a part of Shivalik Biodiversity repository for over 1000 wildlife species”, the applicants submitted.
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