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OFFICE OF THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT & FOREST
GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI
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·        ENVIRONMENT MINISTER CONDUCTS SURPRISE INSPECTION OF THE FOREST RIDGE ADJOINING CHATTARPUR ENCLAVE, PART- II ALONG WITH THE SENIOR OFFICERS OF DELHI GOVT.
·        LARGE CHUNK OF RIDGE AND FOREST LAND FOUND UNDER ENCROACHMENT AND ILLEGAL OCCUPATION OF PRIVATE PERSONS.
·        ENVIRONMENT MINISTER, SHRI IMRAN HUSSAIN DIRECTS THE FOREST DEPARTMENT TO REMOVE ENCROACHMENT FROM THE FOREST LAND
·        MINISTER ALSO ORDERS SUSPENSION OF TWO FOREST OFFICERS FOR THEIR FAILURE TO PROTECT THE FOREST LAND.

New Delhi: 19/02/2019

Environment and Forest Minister Sh. Imran Hussain on Tuesday conducted surprise inspection of the forest ridge adjoining Chattarpur Enclave Part-2. He was accompanied by local MLA Sh. Kartar Singh Tanwar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, GNCTD and other senior officers of the Environment and Forest Department. On the directions of the department, Tehsildar and Patwari from Revenue Department also joined the inspection.

During inspection, large chunk of ridge and forest land was found under encroachment and illegal occupation of private persons. Some of the recently built structures on the ridge land were also noticed by the minister. Taking immediate cognizance of the seriousness of the situation, the Minister directed Forest Department to remove the encroachment at once and free the encroached land so that the Forest Department could take back its possession. On the directions of the Minister, a bulldozer was called and immediately pressed into service.

The encroachment on ridge land was demolished by removing the illegal structures and large chunk of land was brought back under the possession of the government during the inspection of the minister.

The Minister expressed deep shock at the instances of encroachment of forest land. He said that while the Govt. is making every effort to provide clean and fresh air to its citizens, certain vested interests are indulging in illegally occupying forest areas apparently in collusion with departmental officers/officials and thus causing irreparable damage to the eco-system of Delhi. He said that this will not be tolerated at all by the Government.

Sh. Imran Hussain ordered suspension of two Forest Range Officers for their failure to protect forest land and initiate action against the encroachers. He also directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest to seek explanation of the concerned officers who failed to detect and prevent such large scale encroachment of forest and ridge land and initiate departmental action against the guilty.

The Minister also directed Principal Chief Conservator of Forest to ensure that the land which was vacated from encroachment at the time of inspection is immediately fenced so that it is not usurped again by vested interests. The Minister also directed that all the encroached forest land be evicted expeditiously, in time bound manner and action may be taken against the trespassers.

The Minister said that he received complaints regarding encroachment of forest and ridge land and immediately action plan was chalked out to make a surprise inspection to check the situation on the ground.

The Minister also directed that FIR should be lodged by Forest Department against all the encroachers and trespassers for initiation of action as per law including for violation of relevant environment and forest laws. Sh Imran Hussain asked the Forest Department to take immediate steps for protection and conservation of forest land by ensuring its proper fencing. He further warned that no instance of encroachment on the forest land will be tolerated by the Government and strict action will be taken against not only the encroachers but also the departmental officers and officials who are found in collusion and connivance with land mafia.

Sh. Imran Hussain informed that demarcation of forest and ridge land is going on in various villages by teams of Revenue and Forest Department officers. The Minister also directed Forest Department to develop City Forests at various locations after taking over the forest land post demarcation. Government may also consider handing over forest land for its better protection and conservation to Indian Army’ Eco Task Force which is already assisting Forest Department in protection and conservation of  forest land in Delhi.

Sh. Imran Hussain also directed Forest Department to put up display notice boards at various forest and ridge locations about the forest land and warning action against the trespassers on the forest land.

The Minister also informed that similar surprise inspections will be carried out in other forest areas to check proper conservation and protection of forest land.

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