Vigilance committee formed to check de-forestation

DADU: This vigilance committee was formed by chief justice of the Sindh High court, under the district session Judge Dadu who was made chairman of the vigilance committee to stop the increasing pollution to eradicate the illegal possession from forest land, to stop de-forestation and take action against the criminals involved in occupying forest land.

The members of the vigilance committee attended; president of district bar association Dadu, Syed Aziz Rehman Shah SSP Dadu, Qamar Raza Jiskani, Divisional Forest officer Arshad Hyder Kumario, civil Judge and Judicial magistrate Johi, Agha Imran Ali, irrigation official Viji Kumar and others attended as member.

DC Dadu Raja Shahzaman Khuhro had not attended the meeting. A meeting of vigilance committee was chaired under the chair of district session Judge Dadu Ashok Kumar.

Vigilance committee under the chair of district session Judge Dadu has decided to stop environmental pollution, to eradicate the illegal possession of forest land, to stop de-forestation and take action against the criminals, influential people, tribal chiefs, and occupants, political figures those are directly and indirectly involved in occupying forest land.

Divisional Forest Officer Dadu, Arshad Hyder Kumario, said that the Sindh assembly had issued a schedule about lease of forest land in 2005 and 2012 that to protect the land of the forest. Land has to be granted for five years to peasants but according to the schedule, the peasants (land receivers) those were receiving lease/ grants for five years, they were bound for plantation of 20% on the forest land but even, they were not following the schedule to plant the trees on forest land according to law. He rose that such people also were not depositing fixed fees according to schedule. DFO stated in the meeting that there were seven big forests in Dadu District and it comprises of 25,311 acres forest land.

He briefed that only 3,216 acres land of KT Lalia, KT Jatoi, Sona Bindi, Katcho Sita, Qasim Shah and Nari forests has been given on lease to the peasants. He said that over than 90% of the forest land which consists of 20,317 acres land was occupied by influential people for the last several years. The meeting discussed and decided that in three steps, the forest land will be vacated from influential people forever and it would be assured to plant the plantation of trees again.

Vigilance committee meeting has also decided to issue notices to those directly and indirectly involved persons including ex-MPA Syed Mohammad Shah, Sardar Khan Chandio, ex-Taluka Nazim Unid Khan Jatoi, ex Zila Naib Nazim Zahid Hussain Jatoi, Rais Imam Ali and other assembly members, political leaders of various political parties, influential people those had occupied forest land in Dadu district.

Vigilance committee took the decision that cases will be lodged against the people who had occupied the forest land and their supporters at police stations area wise. It was also decided that and direct cases will also be lodged in courts as well as against them and stern action will be taken according to law and all occupied forest land will be vacated.

Published in Daily Times, February 10th 2018.