"The new NTFP policy brings greater benefits to forest-dependent communities"

October 3rd, Srinagar: Pr. Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF & HoFF) J&K Forest Department, Roshan Jaggi, remarked at Bandipora that the Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) Policy established by the Government of UT in December 2022 has begun benefiting a significant number of people located in and near the forests.

On a two-day visit to Gurez, Tulail, and other locations, the PCCF noted that the removal of contractors as middlemen in the previous system had altered the institutional framework for harvesting precious herbs and shrubs from wood. According to him, the locals have been given the authority to collect and sell NTFPs at their own discretion, rather than having to sell them to a single contractor under a monopolistic arrangement. He further said that a tiny portion of royalties are sent to biodiversity management committees, which put the money towards forest improvement and biodiversity conservation at the panchayat level.


The PCCF also had the opportunity to go over the progress made by the Bandipora Forest Division in the areas of development and infrastructure during their visit.

After the Forest Department and the NHPC worked together to transform a muck-dumping site at the Kishanganga Hydro Project into a public park in Kanzalwan, he officially opened the park to the public. Tourists and travellers may make use of the constructed site’s restrooms, children’s park, and other amenities.

TDM, located on the Bandipora-Gurez route, is constructing a comparable roadside facility that will also soon be operating.

A four-kilometre hiking trail connecting Dawar and Pattalwan Sar was opened by the PCCF, who was joined by the regional APCCF for the Kashmir region and other senior officials of the Forest and the NHPC. This trail is expected to increase eco-tourism in the region.

Over the last several years, the Forest Department has constructed more than 65 track routes that run through breathtaking forest settings, giving students, nature enthusiasts, and trekkers the chance to experience nature in its purest form. Eco-tourists may reserve lodging and other services from the Forest Service at a number of such spots via the website.

Over the last half year, 5.90 lakh individuals have taken advantage of the hiking routes that traverse through several forest divisions. The government spokeswoman noted that new opportunities are opening up in previously inaccessible rural regions as a result of such efforts.

PCCF officials met with residents of Gurez and Tulail to inform them that in the next year, additional afforestation-related activities will be undertaken in the area’s catchments in an effort to improve the region’s forests and provide locals with job opportunities.

The PCCF also spoke to students and looked over their work at Chitternar’s Forestry Training School. In addition, he helped establish the DFOs’ new quarters in the Bandipora Forest Complex.

The afforestation plan throughout the whole Kashmir valley would begin in the next winter months, and he went over the preparations that had been made. Through programmes like “Har Gaon Haryali,” “One Beat Guard, One Village,” and “Paed Lagao Beti ke Naam,” he added, the department hopes to put all 4291 Gramme Panchayats under a vast afforestation campaign.



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