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LAND MAFIA EYEING PRIZED FOREST LAND IN PAHALGAM.

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 6, 2017 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)

LAND MAFIA EYEING PRIZED FOREST LAND IN PAHALGAM.

Pahalgam October 09,2016.

A number of people had fraudulently got plots issued in their names and had taken possession of land in forest block of Pahalgam compartments like34,L,35a L,35b L and 36 under the cover of the gazette 60c of 1944 issued by housing department . Some revenue,forest officers officials along with politically influential people are now trying to alter the revised Pahalgam master plan 2014-2032 and get these plots under permissible land.

60 c of 1944 is however a sub judicio matter as Himalayan Welfare Organization, Pahalgam had taken it to the court and we appeal to the government to take strict note of the same and prevent these people from manipulating rules in their favour. These people want to first grab forest land and then build huge commercial constructions on it, ruining the environment and thus need to be stopped at all cost and these people should know that we will not remain quiet about it and will pursue the matter both, in the court and in media and do our best to stop them at any cost.

Our past course of action about 60c of 1944 pahalgam

Apparently the forests department is demarcating boundary for the land on the upper side near hotel highland to KP road, KP Road to Circuit Road Near Shiv Ram, From Pine Cliff to Sarbal upper side of lidder river in Pahalgam. We fail to understand how because this land is clearly under forests, then how did all the people who've built hotels in this stretch get the necessary permission to come up with hotels on this land. While some of these hotels built on non-forest land-units may be operating with due permits, huts and hotels on certain other patches, built on forests land are clearly illegal. If this is so, this is a clear contravention of the provisions of the forests act. As it appears in revenue records,if some people have been allotted plots under 60C 1944, which is clearly illegal if this land belongs to forests. Under whose orders was land allotted to these people in under forest areas?? Allocation under forest compartments 34, 35a, 35b Ldr, is also similarly forest land and is being given away by the revenue department suspiciously and needs to be re-looked at.

If the revenue department has allotted these plots to certain people in exchange for other pieces of land, how did they get forest land while the revenue department and forest says it has not surrendered any forest land till date!

Further, the forest block in Phalgam were demarcated in forest compartment in 1931 and this is clearly evident in the records of the forest demarcation wing. The demarcation carried out in 1965 also shows the said land as forest land and cutting out plots form this land is clearly a blatant violation of the provisions of the forests act and forest and wildlife conservation norms as specified under various United Nations conventions, of which India is a signatory. The Himalayan Welfare Organization, Pahlgam has recently sent a legal notice to the forest department, reminding them of their legal obligation to not cut out any plots from this land, the carrying out of which will have disastrous consequences for the local environment and is bound to cause severe ecological imbalance.

Now when the revised Master 2014-2032 Plan is ready to be approved, the land Mafia has come out of its hiding-holes and are waiting to pounce upon the opportunity to trade environmental sustainability of the region for petty personal gain, the pursuit of which will very quickly and inevitably lead to an Uttarakhand like situation in the valley.

Shockingly, in what appears to be sinister conspiracy, the revenue department is preparing to measure demarcate, allocate and transact these ecologically sensitive lands which have so far been under forests. The question is if these lands were under forests for 72 years since 1944, how can they be suddenly demarcated and allocated now, and why these people are suddenly reminded of taking possession of their lands after 72 years? Clearly there is something fishy in this.

We appeal to the civil society and media to join hands to strongly raise the issue and build up a wider agitation against this immensely sensitive and pressing matter, as more and more people are likely to join the game of land-grab if these vested interests are not stopped immediately.

The forest department has made it clear in response to an RTI reply vide number:240-41 dated:23-10-2015 by HWO that it has not surrendered any forest land for commercial or other uses at pahalgam esp in forest comptt 34, 35a, 35b, 35c 36 ldr etc . How is it then, that some people have illegally encroached upon forest land under 60c of 1944 without forest depts consent and some have undertaken construction on this land while forest pillers number 33 and 34 etc show this land as part of forest area.

We appeal to the government, particularly the forest department to take immediate note and strict action against these offenders and issue orders to reclaim forest land restrain these offenders who want to illegally grab forest land from any further encroachment of and construction on forest land.

We also appeal to the government to bring these offenders to the book for causing deforestation and cutting down standing green trees in clear contravention of the provisions of the forests conservation act.

Mushtaq Pahalgami ,

Social,Environmental,Civil Rights Activist

Pahalgam hospital has deployment of doctors and is in media gaze only during the yatra period but there hasn't been a single lady doctor in the hospital since the yatra.

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 6, 2017 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Pahalgam September 25,2016:Pahalgam hospital has deployment of doctors and is in media gaze only during the yatra period but there hasn't been a single lady doctor in the hospital since the yatra. Pahalgam and its surroundings has a population of over 30,000 who are being made to face immense hardship due to this. This clearly shows the health department 's intent. People want permanent posting of doctors in the hospital but while doctors and other staff pay bribes to get a summer posting they pay bribes to get a posting away from Pahalgam as there is no scope for making money in winters. If the health department continues to have this attitude they should instead shut this shop up and put a lock on the hospital.


Mushatq Pahalgami,                                                                                                                                                                                       Himalayan Welfare Organization,Pahalgam 

Is environment finding a voice in Kashmir?

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 6, 2017 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Is environment finding a voice in Kashmir?

13 September 2016, New Delhi, Subhojit Goswami

While the human toll due to conflict is well documented, little is known about its impact on environment, writes Subhojit Goswami.

Kashmir’s environment suffers when political violence reigns over the state. This time, it’s tad different. A concerted effort from civil society and political and religious organisations have made some headway in putting an end to illegal encroachments in ecologically sensitive areas at a time when Kashmir has been affected by bouts of violence following the killing of Burhan Wani in early July.

The state is no stranger to curfews and clashes between security forces and protesters. It is also not new to illegal encroachments around sensitive environmental zones like Dal Lake in Srinagar and Pahalgam. Surge in illegal tree-felling and timber smuggling has often proved a co-relation between conflicts and environmental threats to Kashmir.

What is different this time?

Reports of encroachments in Dal Lake and growth of illegal structures in Tosa Maidan and Dodapathri surfaced shortly after the violent protests began. But there was a convergence of thought among civil society and political and religious leaders. They not only issued statements demanding environmental protection but also got involved personally in protecting forests and water bodies. Dal Lake has reportedly shrunk from 2,547 hectares in 1971 to 1,620 hectares in 2008.

Nisar Ahmad Malik, secretary of J&K Lakes & Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) told Down To Earth about the progress of demolition drive. “We have made 46 demolitions in August alone and lodged 53 FIRs since July 8. Some of the properties were residential buildings and others were shops. The High Court has also directed the encroachers to furnish surety and bail bond against Rs 50,000,” said Malik. When asked about the reason for a spurt in cases of encroachments during political unrest, Malik said, “People are opportunists. They don’t wait for curfews or political unrest to encroach into lands. It is a round-the-year affair.”

However, the Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Kumar Singh told Down To Earth that he is not aware of any such encroachments taking place around Dal Lake.

Support for environment protection from all quarters

Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq issued a statement on August 2 warning people against unauthorised and illegal constructions. Almost all newspapers in Srinagar carried his statement, which, according to one of the LAWDA officials, bolstered the confidence of those steering the demolition drive.

Local community leaders in Kenusa, Ashtengo, and Chandaji teamed up with forest guards to protect forests since timber smugglers make use of the unrest to smuggle resources from forests. Such initiatives were also reported in Budgam and Kupwara districts. During Friday prayers, religious leaders were heard urging locals to protect forests from timber smugglers.

Environmental cost of violence

The history of Kashmir’s environmental degradation is as old as its conflict dating back to 1947 when Indian and Pakistani armies were deployed in the state. It reportedly led to large-scale poaching of rare species like Ibex, Blue Sheep, Snow Leopard, and Urian the big-horned sheep. While these species were initially killed for food, later they were slaughtered for valuable furs and skins.

After a relative thaw for decades, conflict returned to the valley in 1989. Forests started to get cleared and water bodies began to be filled for buildings. According to reports, most encroachments on the banks of River Jhelum happened between 1990 and 2005, when the violence peaked. Over half a million full-grown trees were cut down in a single forest from 1990 to 2010 in Budgam district.

In the last two decades of Kashmir conflict, security forces had allegedly cleared vast tracts of forestland to target militants taking cover. They also used forests as an artillery firing range, converting them into military garrison. All these have been happening when the heavy presence of soldiers on both sides of Kashmir was fast reducing glacier, a major source of water of the Indus River.

Nexus between government officials and offenders hinted

But the problem is far more complex than it seems, according to Mushtaq Pahalgami, the president of Himalayan Welfare Organisation—a non-profit organisation working for the conservation of ecology of Kashmir. “The land mafias and timber mafias are working in cahoots with the bureaucrats. While illegal activities continue throughout the year, the offenders get a free hand during political unrest. The local officials seem to invite poachers and encroachers during a long spell of violence when everyone’s attention shifts to well-being of the people,” said Pahalgami.

Highlighting the impact on fisheries, Pahalgami said, “Some people are taking undue advantage of ongoing political turmoil and are carrying out illegal fish catching by setting up fishing net and adding certain contraband chemicals in the streams in the Lidder River.”

Narrating a first-hand experience of how forest officers provided cover to a gang of tree-fellers, Pahalgami said, “Political leaders enjoy impunity since they have connections with the forest department employees. Our environment minister doesn’t know what’s happening on the ground.”

Between August 18 and 30, Pahalgami wrote a slew of letters to the District Development Commissioner of Anantnag and the Chief Executive Officer of Pahalgam Development Authority drawing their attention on environmental crimes people are committing taking undue advantage of the ongoing political turmoil. DOWN TO EARTH

(The views expressed are strictly personal.)

http://www.millenumpost.in/NewsContent.aspx?NID=324516

The shameful incidents of the forces shooting and setting transformers on fire must be condemned in the strongest words possible

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 6, 2017 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Pahalgam September 11,2017:The shameful incidents of the forces shooting and setting transformers on fire must be condemned in the strongest words possible and the law and local administration must look into the matter urgently and strictly. It's a shame that those who call themselves keepers of law and order are doing this and setting the valley's resources afire, something they have no right to do!


Mushatq Pahalgami,   President Himalayan Welfare Organization Pahalgam 

The forest range officer, Pahalgam has taken strict notice of the activities of the forest mafia and has also initiated some action against them and has activated the entire team.

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 6, 2017 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Pahalgam September 03,2016:The forest range officer, Pahalgam has taken strict notice of the activities of the forest mafia and has also initiated some action against them and has activated the entire team. We welcome the steps taken and wish him more strength and luck and hope some junior officers who have been on duty at the spot like pahalgam forest range for a long time now and have been doing damage to the region through involvement with the mafia will also be taken to task and brought to the books.

Himalayan Welfare Organization ,   Pahalgam

Himalayan Welfare Organization holds seminar at Hillway Public School

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 29, 2016 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Himalayan Welfare Organization holds seminar at Hillway Public School

‘Save Shahkul Canal Campaign’ launched

By : KNS | Srinagar, Publish Date : Saturday, June 4, 2016 | Updated Date : Saturday, June 4, 2016

Srinagar, June 04 (KNS): The Himalayan Welfare Organization, Pahalgam organized a One day National Seminar at Hillway Public School, Aishmuqam today as a precursor to the World Environment day celebrations held on the 5th of June each year, on the theme ‘Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development’.

Speakers and distinguished guests present at the event included MLA, Pahalgam, Altaf Ahmad Wani, MLA, Shangus, Gulzar Ahmad Wani, MLC Syed Bashir Ahmad Veeri, Dr Nyla Ali Khan, University of Oklahoma, Dr Shirin Akhter, Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi, Dr Richa Chintan, Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, Simin Akhter Naqvi, Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi, Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat, Convener J&K RTI Movement, Sheikh Fayaz JNU Student, Dr Zamir Ahmad, Dr Tariq Ahmad, followed by address and presentations by Special Host of the event, Mushtaq Ahmad Pahalgami President Himalayan Welfare Organization and Abdul Rahman Wani, Chairman, Hillway Public School and a dedicated team of staff and students of the school.

The Theme for the world environment day global celebrations this year is Wildlife preservation.

The discussions in the seminar however spanned many more issues and identified the importance of looking at the problem in totality and in relation to various pressing local concerns like illegal land grab, deforestation, pollution of local water bodies, dumping of garbage and untreated waste in inappropriate land-fills, increasing pressure on natural resources and climate change all of which culminate in shrinking of the living spaces of wildlife, and rising rates of extinction of local species both flora and fauna. A strong need was also felt for developing strategies for low impact tourism and environmentally sustainable green development policies for the region which boost both incomes and employment of local youth without causing unnecessary stress on the environment. Synthesizing and inferring in totality from the insights shared by various speakers it was felt that there’s a strong need to incorporate a nuanced understanding of the underlying political-economy underpinnings of the question, to bring members of the academic community, the media, civil society and politicians and policy-makers on board for more productive discussions on the matter, to ensure that conservation and preservation policies are duly implemented by all levels of governance and to make young citizens including school children a part of the campaign to save and preserve local ecosystems.

The ‘Save Shahkul Canal Campaign’ was also launched in the seminar with the intention to prevent and revert contamination and shrinking of the Shahkul canal with the help of local residents and school children. The organization’s ongoing efforts at preserving river Lidder were shared with the audience and it the intention to eventually begin a similar campaign to save lidder was also expressed. The seminar was in continuation of ongoing efforts by Himalayan Welfare Organization at promoting awareness and consciousness of environmental issues and of the question of sustainability.

Other local stake holders present in the seminar included SHO Aishmuqam, President Hotel Association Pahalgam Abdul Rahman Ganai, President Photographers Association Pahalgam Mohd Iqbal Bhat, President Taxi Union Pahalgam Gulzar Ahmad Wani, President Tent Association Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, Hussain Babu, Mohd Shafi Darpan, Arif Khanday, Irshad Majid ,Muzaffar Bhat, Bilal Ahmad Shikh,Tasleem Arif Sheikh and hundreds of students of the school and a number of members civil society. (KNS)

http://www.knskashmir.com/news.aspx…;

There are a lot of educated unemployed youth in Pahalgam constituency including in far flung areas like Pahalgam in every house who are trained in trekking,adventure sports etc

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 29, 2016 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

JUNE 02,2016

There are a lot of educated unemployed youth in Pahalgam constituency including in far flung areas like Pahalgam in every house who are trained in trekking,adventure sports etc and i fail to understand why the tourism department doesn't give preference to these young men and instead facilitates the furtherance of some selected people and groups who owe allegiance to politically influential local leaders. It looks like even the honest and sincere Director of Tourism has no power or agency in this and ruling party politicians are unilaterally commanding terms in the matter. It feels like only these selected groups of people are legitimate state subject holders while everybody else is an unwanted step-child! We shall not tolerate this injustice at any cost and will be compelled to protest against it unless discriminatory and entry-barring practices in rafting,zorbing,para gliding and other adventure sport permits are abandoned by the Ministry of tourism immediately. We appeal to the Director, Tourism, who is a sincere officer, to make it mandatory for the inspection team to fairly inspect the facilities and equipment of everyone who has the tourism registration and relax all other conditions except merit with fair consideration for local youth.

Mushtaq Pahalgami,

Social,Environmental Activist,


Pahalgam has a lot of tourists visiting it these days especially a number of domestic and local tourists including school children who consume a lot of fast food and litter packets and polybags etc

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

JUNE 02,2016:Pahalgam has a lot of tourists visiting it these days especially a number of domestic and local tourists including school children who consume a lot of fast food and litter packets and polybags etc at picnic spots like betab valley. In fact all this garbage is dumped in the lidder in the evening by local sanitation staff of contractor as per source, threatening the local lidder river ecology. Even the teachers accompanying these students fail to contain this irresponsibility on part of these students. The PDA has outsourced the maintainance and operations of betab to private people and they have constructed a number of sheds threatening to make betab into another baisaran. Even the maintainence staff at Pahalgam club dumps garbage into the river and/or burns the garbage as per sources. These people carry about with their bussiness of converting Pahalgam into a garbage valley without shame or fear due to political patronage. We need to think about these issues this environment day and accept our responsibility in preserving the environment. We cant leave the task just to the civic bodies and must come together to save the environment as a society.

 

Advance Happy World Environment Day 05 June 2016

 

Press and Publicity,

HWO,Pahalgam


Some people have exploited political influence and power to grab hundreds of kanals of public land illegally from time to time.

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

JUNE 01,2016:Some people have exploited political influence and power to grab hundreds of kanals of public land illegally from time to time. We will expose these people as we have firm proof of the misdemeanures of those who are looting public land under the garb and pretence of honesty and sincereity. We however have ample proof and evidence against them and shall inshallah take these people to the court and to the green tribunal soon and expose them naked.

Mushtaq Pahalgami

The Himalayan Welfare Organization, Pahalgam announces the launch of the Save Shahkul Campaign on the 4th of June, at the one day seminar on Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development at Hillway Public School, Aishmuqam.

Posted by hwopahalgam on August 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

MAY 28,2016:The Himalayan Welfare Organization, Pahalgam announces the launch of the Save Shahkul Campaign on the 4th of June, at the one day seminar on Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development at Hillway Public School, Aishmuqam. The Shakul or Martand canal is an important water channel that needs to be restored and maintained for healthy and sustainable local water circulation. Unfortunately the canal has not been adequately upkept and is being used for dumping garbage and draining sewage. The irrigation department also spends crores of rupees every year to clean the canal but to littl avail. If the people are able to help clean and restore Shahkul this money can also be diverted to other productive uses. Join us and come together to clean and restore Shahkul. Save environment, save the future!


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