A deputation of the Paddar people led by Advisor of Sarv Shakti Sevak Sanstha Mata Machail Shrine Sh. Ram Singh Chauhan and Paddar Welfare Forum led by Mr. Mohinder Singh Rana, President, accompanied by Ved Raj Khajuria Vice President and Sunil Khajuria, called on Chief Conservator Forests, Jammu Sh. K. Ramesh Kumar, IFS yesterday.
They apprised the officer of the problems being faced by the inhabitants of the area of Sub-Division Paddar of District Kishtwar.
It was brought to the notice of the Chief Conservator of Forests that at Gulabgarh, Paddar the Department has opened a depot for providing wooden sleepers to the farmers for construction of houses at the rates fixed by the department which are equal to the rates available at Jammu, Udhampur, Doda, Bhaderwah or Kishtwar District Headquarters.
Whereas, the fact is that Paddar Sub-Division comprising of 32 Revenue Villages and more than a dozen hamlets consist of BPL/ Antodaya/ SC.ST population of poor people. They can not afford to purchase wood at Paddar. It was demanded that the people of Paddar who based on natural justice must get timber at cheaper rates. To add to the agony, it was conveyed that the said wood depot remains out of stock for most of the time.
The Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu was further apprised that Forest Department doesn’t have any infrastructure like VIP Rooms or dormitories to give shelter to lakhs of devotees as also Tourists/ Trekkers on the way to the Mata Machail Shrine during the annual Yatra months in July-August every year.
Mr. Kumar was requested to create infrastructure on forest land available within half a km around Machail Shrine. He was also requested to improve the VIP bungalow at Chishoti besides erecting both rooms and toilets around every halting station en route Machail Mata Shrine in the general public interest to make the stations popular for every tourist who visits so as to boost tourism in Paddar.
Range has suffered a huge loss which needs immediate cognizance at the hands of the authorities.
The officer was kind enough to listen to the grievances of the people of Paddar and assured to take effective steps without loss of time.