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Environment and Forests


The sustainability of economic development is directly linked with protection of environment as well as Forests. The intangible benefits of forest in supporting human life and vegetation are far more superior to its tangible benefits. In J&K, the three major sectors viz. Tourism, Electricity and Horticulture/Agriculture have their genesis in forests. Forest also play an important role in moderating the climate, maintaining the soil mantle, improving soil fertility, minimizing soil erosion, purifying the air, preservation of wild life and in regulating the flow of water in rivers and streams. Forests are also main source of timber, fuel, fodder, medicines and other non timber minor products.


Jammu and Kashmir has numerous chains of coniferous forests. With the increase in population of both human as well as livestock, the forests are under great pressure due to open grazing, heavy exploitation and excessive biotic dependence.


Forest Cover Distribution
Jammu and Kashmir has a total forest cover of 20230 Sq km (20.23 lakh hectares) accounting for 19.95% of the total Geographical area of 101387 Sq km on this side of line of control. All India figures indicate a percentage of 24.47% geographical area under forests. Out of the total forest area of 20230 Sq km, the area under reserved forests is 2551 Sq km, protected forest is 17463 Sq km and the rest 36 Sq km is unclassified.


Out of the total forest area, 12066 Sq km are in Jammu Region, followed by Kashmir Region with 8128 Sq km and Ladakh Region with only 36 Sq km. Kashmir Region has 40.17%, Jammu Region has 59.64%, while Ladakh Region has 0.17% area under forest cover. The position of the total Geographical area under forest is as under:-


Region wise Forest cover (Area in Sq Km)

S. No.

Region

Total Geographical Area

Forest Area

Percentage of total geographical area

1

Kashmir

15948

8128

50.97

2

Jammu

26293

12066

45.89

3

Ladakh

59146

36

0.11

 

Total

101387*

20230

19.95

*indicates geographical area on this side of actual line of control. These area figures exclude 120849 Sq km under illegal occupation of China and Pakistan Source: Digest of Statistics

Forests cover 48 percent of the total geographical area of the State (excluding Ladakh region) which is above the national average of 24.47 percent. It is, however, less than the norm of National Forest Policy, 1988, which provides forest cover of one third of total geographical area (20% for plains and 66% for hilly areas).

Species wise Forest Cover
The specie-wise area under forests has remained stagnated during last few years. An area of 1075 Sq km is under Deodar constituting 5.31% of the total forest area. 1825 Sq km are under Chir having 9.02% share, 1969 Sq km are under Kail which accounts for 9.74%, 3401 Sq km are under Fir, representing 16.81%. Largest area of 10075 Sq km falls under other categories having a share of 49.8%. Thus, 18345 Sq km are under coniferous (Soft wood). Non coniferous (hard wood) covers 1885 Sq km claiming 9.32% of total forest area. An area of 1962 Sq km is covered by Rakh and wild life reserves.


Out Turn of Forest produce
To maintain ecological balance, the felling of trees is done on a limited scale. The out turn of timber which was 102.48 thousand cubic meters in 2000-01, has declined to 64.87 thousand cubic meters in 2014-15 (ending 01/2015).
The extraction of Minor Forest Produce (MFPs) (Except three species viz.              1. Pyrethrum, 2. Althea (Sazat), 3. Digitallis (Foxglove)) was banned by Government in the year 2004. Ban was subsequently lifted in 2013, however the extraction of MFPs is still to be started.


Export of Forest Produce
The export of timber has increased from 25.10 thousand cubic meters in 2000-01 to 30.70 thousand cubic meters in 2007-08 showing a net increase of 22.31%. During 1990-91, the state was exporting timber to the extent of 53.39 thousand cubic meters. The movement of trees or timber (sawn or otherwise) from the state, for the present, stand suspended by virtue of Hon'ble Supreme Court order dated 12.12.1996.


Extraction and Sale of Oleo Resin
To improve the health of the Chir Forests under resin tapping, policy decision has been taken by the Government to reduce 20% of the resin blazes annually from the year 2003-04 onwards. 1805.00 MT of Resin has been extracted during the year 2014­15 (ending 01/2015) as against of 1027.62 MT in the previous year.


The Forest department activities involve raising economic plantations and quick growing species under various schemes of centre and state governments.


Schemes under State/District/Centrally Sponsored Programmes are:


i)

Rehabilitation of Degraded Forests

ii)

Research Education and Training

iii)

Working Plan and Research

iv)

Consolidation and Demarcation

v)

Development of Minor Forest Produce including Medicinal Plants

vi)

Eco Task Force

vii)

Infrastructure including Gutted Buildings

viii)

Urban Forestry

ix)

Pasture and Fodder Development

x)

Stabilization of slip Areas on National Highway

xi)

CM's Participatory Afforestation Scheme

xii)

Forest Protection

xiii)

Monitoring and Evaluation

xiv)

Participatory Grazing Land Development Programme

xv)

Integrated Forest Protection Scheme

Main achievements of Forest Department for 2012-13 and 2013-14
During the year 2013-14, 34.10 lakh plants have been planted covering an area of 5501 hectares. During the current financial year 2014-15, 2.70 lakh plants have been planted so far ending Nov. 2014 covering thereby an area of 549 hectares under State plant and CSS.


Management of Plantations
It has been envisaged to transform the Social Forestry Department from a hundred percent spending department to a revenue yielding department as well. Besides, the department has been entrusted with the assignment of removal of cotton producing female Poplar trees in order to curb the ill-effects of cotton produced by such trees. The total revenue generated by the department during the year 2014-15 (ending Nov,. 2014) was Rs. 12.291 lakhs as against Rs. 289.887 lakhs during the year 2013-14.


Since 2005-06 the Social Forestry Department has planted 209.925 Lakh plants planted covering an area of 15797.24 hectares up-to date. Besides this 54.409 Lakh plants have been distributed to farmers for planting in their own proprietary land. It also helps to provide employment to unemployed and under employed people, particularly the landless agricultural labourers and other traditionally weaker sections of rural community.


Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning (CAMPA)
In order to manage the Compensatory Afforestation, the State has constituted State CAMPA under SRO-354 providing for three tier regulation of activities. The area treated with financial outlay since inception of CAMPA for different years is as under:-


Year

Area treated (HA)

Expenditure
(Rs. in Crore)

Nursery Plant raised (in lakh Nos)

2010-11

2885

18.75

45.44

2011-12

5115

36.93

55.36

2012-13

5153

38.04

41.06

2013-14

7612

59.02

61.82

2014-15
 (ending 11/2014)

3147

18.75

11.90

 

Liberalization of timber import
To supplement the supply of timber to consumers in the State, import of timber is being encouraged by rationalizing the norms for registration of timber sale depots. The restrictions imposed on movement of timber through transit permission, has been removed in case of imported timber. Timber imported during 2013-14 was 41.42 lakh Cfts as against 33.20 lakh Cfts imported for the current financial year 2012-15 ending November, 2014.


Supply of timber through Forest Department:-
Timber supplied to general public and for other purpose from forest sale depot as well as from Forests during 2013-14 was 26.120 lakh Cfts as against of 18.00 lakh Cfts supplied for the year 2014-15 ending January, 2015.


Revenue Receipt
The details of Revenue receipts from 2010-11 to 2014-15 (ending November, 2014) is given as under:-


(Rs. in Lakh)

S.No.

Unit of appropriation

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15
(ending 11/2014)

1

Sale of Timber

2938.08

3574.48

3840.19

3834.34

2625.36

2

Sale of Firewood

228.30

277.67

297.64

313.52

195.61

3

Sale of Resin

1025.65

799.77

302.73

40.35

139.21

4

MFP

28.43

26.48

42.64

770.19

0.53

5

Grass Grazing

8.27

7.55

7.70

7.95

5.50

6

Others

191.47

243.10

306.25

540.98

150.28

7

Royalty

0.06

0

0

0

0

Total

4423.26

4929.05

4797.15

5507.33

3116.49

Forest Policy
The Jammu & Kashmir State Forest Policy 2011 received the approval of the cabinet in January 2011. The State Forest Policy lays stress of conservation of forest resources for ecosystem goods and services, meeting needs of people for forest produce, and poverty alleviation through developmental activities. All the approaches for protection and management of forests are fully defined and documented in the forest Policy which is one of the most forward looking policies in the country developed and enunciated through rigorous consultation with stakeholders.


Soil Conservation
The job of the soil conservation department is a highly technical and research oriented especially when we are coming across with rapid deforestation, disturbance of soil due to heavy infrastructure on way and frequent floods, avalanches and misuse/overuse of agricultural land along with encroachments of wasteland. Similarly because of large number of bigger projects like Hydro Electric Projects, Railways and four lane road, etc., the problem of erosion is increasing day by day. It is telling upon the productivity of the soil, blockade of roads, siltation of reservoirs and inundation of agriculture land. Recognizing the magnitude of this problem in the state, Department of Soil Conservation is taking care of this aspect and devising ways and means to mitigate the sufferings caused due to the soil erosion.


Soil & Water Conservation activities
The department is taking up following measures to conserve soil and water and to protect the life/ properties of the common people:-

  1. Fencing to check biotic interference.
  2. Construction of drains for treatment of water logged areas/ for safe disposal of runoff from upper catchments.
  3. Nallah/ Gully Control works for checking of soil erosion.
  4. Land stabilization measures for control of landslides.
  5. Construction of Water harvesting structures for conservation of water.
  6. Sisal propagation in highly degraded Kandi belt of Jammu region for stabilization of land slips and fiber production.
  7. Construction of snow slide structures in Ladakh region for protecting Agriculture lands.

The department has ventured into water conservation by construction of small dams for conserving rainfed areas in collaboration with Central Ground Water Board, Ministry of Water Resources. Three schemes are under implementation whereas nine schemes are in pipeline besides, eleven areas identified for such works are under formulation.

Wildlife Protection
The State Government has taken a series of measures for conservation of Forests and the Wildlife therein. The State Government has notified more than 15912 sq km under the Protected Area Network which is about 15.59% of total geographical area of the State as compared to the national average of 4.8%. The State has 5 National Parks, 14 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 37 Conservation Reserves. In order to save wildlife from hunters and poachers great emphasis is given towards anti-poaching activities including engagement of informers to handle the organized wildlife crime.


A few research activities taken up by the department in collaboration with institution viz Wildlife Institute of India, (WII) Dehradhun, SKUAST Kashmir, and other NGO's viz WII New Delhi, WWF-India, Wildlife SOS. The department has successfully carried out radio collaring of Hangul, Leopard, Black bears, deployment of satellite transmitters on black necked crane and bar headed geese in collaboration with these organizations. Further, capacity building and training of the field staff has been taken up for better management of wildlife. Awareness with regard to importance of wildlife/protected areas is being generated through involvement of locals.

   
     
     
     
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Mr. Parvez Ahmed
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Convenor J&K SLBC
The Jammu & Kashmir Bank Ltd.
Corporate Headquarters
M.A Road Srinagar,
Jammu and Kashmir, India
Phone: 0194-2481900,

Fax:0194-2481902

Mr. Vagish Chander Sharma
Executive President,
Personnel & HRDD/ Trainings, Disciplinary Deptt, Management of Board Secretariat,
FSD/ Insurance, JKGB Management, Customer Care/ Compliance/ KYC/ AML, Lead Bank, FID/CSC.
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Jammu and Kashmir, India

Telephone/ Fax: 0194-2502614/ 2502615
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Cell No: 9479176977
Email: vc.sharma@jkbmail.com  

Mr. Rakesh Gandotra
Vice President,
Lead Bank Department, Financial Inclusion Department / Common Services Centre, Strategy & Business Development Division.
Corporate Headquarters
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Jammu and Kashmir, India

Telephone/ Fax: 0194-2502639
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Email: rakesh.gandotra@jkbmail.com  

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J&K State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC)
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Jammu and Kashmir, India

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