A one day Training cum Capacity workshop was organized by J&K Forest Department on Forest Demarcation for Range Officers today at South Forest Headquarters (SFH), Bijbehara. The program was organized in collaboration with Forest Demarcation Division, Kashmir Region in which about Twenty Range Officers participated.

During inaugural session, Conservator of Forests, South Kashmir, Irfan Ali Shah, welcomed all the Forest trainees as well as domain experts and trainers from the Demarcation Division Kashmir. He said that Forests covers about 48 percent of total land area in the J&K, so demarcation of the forest land is of utmost importance in the present scenario. He stressed upon maintaining a proper balance between developmental imperatives and ecological needs so that sustainable development could be achieved.

Shah informed that traditionally, the Forest Officers along with Revenue Officers demarcated the forests using traditional equipment’s but with the advent of modern technology, our Foresters need to adopt themselves with the advanced technologies like GPS, GIS, PDA, formation of KMZ and KML files and even drone technology. He informed that these training programs are a step in this direction.

He directed all forest officers to ensure Demarcation of Forest lands strictly in accordance with Forest Records. He informed that under the deliverable theme “ Kabza Mukht Janglat” or encroachment free forests, this year till now 204 Kanals of forest land has been evicted out in South Kashmir. Further 201 number of Forests are being surveyed under deliverable “, Digitize, Fence, Secure”. The Demarcation Division itself is going to install hundreds of BPs including Main Line and Check Line BPs. He also informed that different survey teams of forest officials are being constituted to ascertain the existence of already installed BPs across South Kashmir. He said with this pace, we will be able to achieve the complete consolidations and settlement of forest boundaries in South Kashmir in the next 2-3 years. He also envisioned use of differential Global Positioning System technology for ascertaining location of forest boundaries more accurately with greater precisions. 

The first Technical session was taken by DFO Demarcation Division, Kashmir Region Syed Jawad-ul-Hassan who briefed about the Concept of demarcation in Kashmir. Shabir Ahmad Dar I/c ICT Lab PI Division briefed about Technology advancement in Demarcation. Javed Ahmad Nathkhan spoke about land dispute cases and their disposal and preparation of demarcation files and maps followed by Mohd. Ashraf Khan I/c Mehfooz Khana who displayed Forest Demarcation records. 

In the afternoon, the trainees were given exposure to various field exercises and skills viz Forest Demarcation in Sallar Forests of Lidder Forest Division. The Programme was also attended by DFOs of South Circle including Dr. Mehraj Ahmad Sheikh, DFO Lidder Forest Division and Mohammad Ramzan Mir, DFO Anantnag. 

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