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Forest Officer Suspended for Negligence in North Kashmir Forest Division

Authorities have suspended a Block Forest Officer (BFO) in Langate Forest Division, Handwara, Kupwara district, over alleged negligence concerning the illegal construction of a bridge. The Conservator of Forests, Kashmir North Circle, Sopore, issued the suspension order after it was discovered that the Border Roads Organisation was constructing a bridge on forest land without proper approval from the Forest Department.

The order, as reported by GNS, highlighted that the construction work was taking place in Compartment 32/B, Mawer Forest Block, in violation of the Indian Forest Act 1927 and the Forest Conservation Act 1980. Additionally, another project involving the installation of a stone crusher in Nowgam Forest Block was mentioned. Although this project had been approved, the construction materials were being extracted illegally from a nearby Nallah without departmental permission.

The Conservator of Forests noted that Mohammad Aslam Lone, the Block Forest Officer of Nowgam, along with his staff, had shown gross negligence by not intervening in the illegal activities. Their inaction and failure to uphold their duties were deemed unacceptable and deplorable by the Conservator.

As a preliminary response to this serious misconduct, Mohammad Aslam Lone has been placed under suspension with immediate effect. He has been attached to the Divisional Officer of Kamraj Forest Division, Zangli Kupwara, pending further investigation.

The Conservator emphasized that the suspension was necessary to address the wrongful actions and neglect of duty by the officer. The decision reflects the Forest Department’s commitment to maintaining strict oversight and adherence to legal provisions in forest conservation.

In the meantime, the Divisional Forest Officer of Langate has been instructed to compile and submit a comprehensive report on the case. This report will be crucial in initiating a departmental investigation against the erring officer and any other officials involved.

The suspension of the BFO underscores the importance of accountability and vigilance among forest officials in protecting forest lands from unauthorized activities. The Forest Department aims to ensure that all construction and resource extraction within forest areas are conducted legally and with proper authorization.

By taking decisive action against negligence and misconduct, the Forest Department reinforces its dedication to preserving the integrity of forest ecosystems and upholding environmental laws.

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