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Re-organisation of J&K, 13902 hectares of forest land diverted for projects

Jammu Kashmir Re-Organisation afforestation funds

Nearly eight months after re-organisation of Jammu & Kashmir, a proposal is being worked out to distribute compensatory afforestation funds between Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories, documents reveal.

According to agenda note of 25th meeting of executive committee of Jammu & Kashmir Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), a proposal for distribution of money received from user agencies between the two UTs is being worked out for submission to the National Authority set –up under CAMPA KNO reported.

“With the reorganization of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh w.e.f. 31 October 2019, the separate J&K and Ladakh CAMPAs have been established. Therefore, the money received by the erstwhile J&K CAMPA from user agencies on account of diversion of forest lands for non-forestry purposes is to be distributed between the successor J&K and Ladakh CAMPAs,” reads the note.

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The move comes after authorities of Jammu and Kashmir held a meeting with Chief Executive Officer of National CAMPA, New Delhi on January 23.

The proposal is being prepared in consultation with Finance Department of J&K and UT Government of Ladakh.

As many as 13902 hectares of forest land has been diverted for non- forestry purposes in J&K from 1990 to March 2020.

So far user agencies have deposited a Rs 1710.44 crore with the J&K CAMPA for using forestland.

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Of this amount, 1424 .19 crore have been deposited from projects falling in J&K UT and Rs 286.26 crore from Ladakh region.

According to the note, Rs 1298.3 Crore (which includes Rs. 286 crore from projects in Ladakh region) has been credited to adhoc CAMPA, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Out of the interest on the principal amount of the deposit, the adhoc CAMPA has released Rs 379 crore.

Out of the principal amount deposited by J&K CAMPA into the account of Adhoc CAMPA (Now National Authority) the authority has transferred Rs 408.35 crore into State Fund in public account of UT of Jammu and Kashmir vide their communication dated 07-02-2020.

Reported By Wahid Bhat, He is a Journalist based in Jammu and Kashmir.

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