SVC seeks ATR from ADC over forest land encroachment in Poonch

The complainants also alleged that although they intimated concerned forest officials about the matter but the authorities did not take any action against the encroachers.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 23, 2016, 16:40 PM IST

Jammu: The State Vigilance Commission (SVC) today directed Additional Deputy Commissioner of Poonch to conduct an inquiry and submit a report in connection with alleged encroachment of forest land by some persons in connivance with officials.

The commission has directed ADC, Poonch (District Vigilance Officer) to furnish action taken report in a forest land encroachment made by some persons at village Lassana in Tehsil Surankote of Poonch district, an SVC spokesman said.

Earlier, the Commission has received a complaint from the inhabitants of Lassana village alleging that some persons of the village have forcibly encroached on forest land with active support of an MLA, he said.

They have also alleged that the encroachers have converted the forest land into agriculture land and have constructed some concrete structures there besides cutting trees, the spokesman said.

The complainants also alleged that although they intimated concerned forest officials about the matter but the authorities did not take any action against the encroachers, which indicated that encroachment has been made "in connivance with forest official".

Taking cognizance of the complaint, the State Vigilance Commission has directed Additional Deputy Commissioner Poonch (District Vigilance Officer) to conduct on-the-spot enquiry in the matter and submit a factual report to the Commission early, the spokesman said.

The report received by the Commission prima-facie revealed that a number of persons of Lassana have grabbed the forest land and have made illegal constructions there in sheer violation of Forest Act, he said.

Taking serious note of the encroachments and dereliction of duty by the officials of forest department, the SVC directed ADC to coordinate with the officials of revenue and forest departments and ensure that Action Taken Report is submitted to the Commission by July 27 in 2016.